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Hellfire on Film

Anyone who spent much time in the Old City last year knows that the most popular show in town was on the street. It didn't cost a cent, and although there were plenty of regulars on the stage, how the whole thing would play out was always uncertain.

The show kicked off every weekend when a couple of Bible-thumping preachers from Wartburg dressed in white shirts and ties showed up on the corner of Jackson and Central avenues and started to tell everyone they were going to hell. Several arguments, jokes and religious debates followed—with at times plenty of hostility on both sides.

The religious battles have died down since then, but the moment was captured on color digital film by high school student Renée Sanabria. Called The Final Word, the 102-minute film documents the clashes during two weekends last July—when they were the most intense.

"It's real different. It's real interactive in the way it was shot," Sanabria says. "I tried to make the viewer feel right there."

She plans to enter the film in several festivals, including the prestigious Sundance and the local Valleyfest. Its regional flavor is one of the film's strong appeals, Sanabria says. She's shown the film to Northerners who find the street preaching a curiosity. "I think people up North and internationally will find this real exotic to where this is," she says.

And it's fascinating because religion is such an intense, personal issue. "It really gets a lot of religious opinions out there, because people have a lot of confused ideas about what other people believe," she says.

The Final Word will show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Pilot Light on Jackson Avenue in the Old City. Memphis ska/punk band 7bit, and the local metal band, DreZden—both of whom have music in the film soundtrack—will play afterward.

Local CD Review

The Pecans
Static is Good!

There are weird things going on in Vestal. For one thing, the South Knoxville neighborhood's self-proclaimed "good-timin' rock 'n' roll band," the Pecans, have recorded a very weird demo. For another, the band's leader, Slick Surface, has compiled an assortment of odd promotional correspondence to accompany the Static is Good! demo.

The disc itself isn't so much good-timin' rock 'n' roll as it is a collage of some nice melodies, lyrics that represent a twisted vision of the world, and lots and lots of strange home studio noise. There's a nice, muted pop song, maybe a little in the vein of Luna, called "Marsupial," then there's a grating lo-fi rave-up about Phil Spector (how's that for postmodern irony?), and a swirling, industrial-ish track called "Vestal Stomp." Plus "Readymade," a recording of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" interrupted with a brief, Zappa-esque voice proclaiming "The bass go boom!"

The demo, in some form or another (it's impossible to tell from Slick Surface's correspondence), will eventually be available. Somewhere. Not record stores, he says. And not for sale—instead traded for sound advice or candy. Look for it where such things are in ready supply.


Thursday: Treasures of the Chinese Scholar at McClung. One hundred and eighty-six objects from the studios of Chinese scholars, ranging in period from the Zhou Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Neat stuff.

Friday: The Camaros at Fairbanks. High-energy rockabilly for your dancing enjoyment.

Saturday: First, check out the Community Shares Mardi Gras Parade that cruises down Gay Street in the afternoon. Then, head to Ailey II at Clarence Brown Theatre. Some powerful, visceral modern dance for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday: Barefoot in the Park at Bijou Theatre. Last chance to catch this engaging Neil Simon comedy classic.

Monday: Pat McGhee Band at Moose's. Opening for McGhee will be Fisher, a moody duo who is burning up the Internet.

Tuesday: Fat Tuesday Celebration at Hollywood Ballroom, which is just above the old Underground. Gumbo, gumbo, gumbo and the music of The Boogeymen.

Wednesday: Young Love at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalists Church. Check out this photography/poetry display about love before it vanishes on March 2 (the exhibit, not the love).

—Emma "Pith-less" Poptart

February 22, 2001 * Vol. 11, No. 8
© 2001 Metro Pulse