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Eye on the Scene

A Sad Salvation

Things a'stirrin' on local radio airwaves: It seems the ever-pending new station 106.7 on the FM dial will finally go into operation sometime within the next two weeks. Station manager/owner Jonathan Pirkle says 106.7 will continue to run test broadcasts in the meantime, awaiting FCC final approval.

The format of the station (call letters WXVO) will be active rock, says Pirkle, a "current, non-genre, non-classic, non-Extreme, everything-fits-in-one-pile format," one that will include both new alt- and mainstream rock and some slightly older favorites.

The reason for the long wait between the station's announcement several months ago and its actual realization is due to tower difficulties, Pirkle says, and the station's newer, higher tower promises "world domination" for ownership—or at the very least some attractive ratings points come next Arbitron book.

Speaking of new transmitting power, East Tennessee's own WDVX 89.9 received a boost of its own when the station purchased the 106.1 translator facility operating out of downtown Knoxville. That's good news for fans of the listener-supported station, as its notoriously weak 200-watt signal (emanating from Anderson County) often left reception lacking in most of the city. The facility will be refurbished in the coming months, with the goal of availing listeners all over the downtown/UT area, West and North Knoxville of a clearer signal.

We Especially Like "Harvest"

Oops. Sometimes all that Count Chocula makes me loopy. Case in point: last week I stupidly misattributed a song on Scott Miller's fine new live CD Are You With Me? to some guy named Neil Young. The song, "Across the Line," is actually the work of none other than Mr. Miller, the beloved writer of classics like "Goodnight Loser," "Mary," and "Southern Man." Which reminds me, Scott—have you patched things up with David Crosby yet?

What about Michael's?

When Gary Mitchell's new club on the corner of Gay Street and Jackson Avenue opens next month, it's not supposed to be like anything else in the Old City. Fiction, tentatively scheduled to open on Friday, April 6 in the space that housed the Underground for 10 years, will appeal to an older, upscale clientele that Mitchell says has few other options for night-time entertainment.

Fiction will still be a dance club, with local DJs spinning dance, techno, and disco music Wednesdays through Saturdays. Mitchell's renovated the building, changing the decor and adding a new P.A. system and light show (Mitchell won't say how much he's spent on the improvements). But it's going to be a little ritzier than the Underground, which closed last year after losing its beer license.

"People my age [Mitchell is 40] have nowhere to go," he says.

Fiction will be 21 and up, and will have a strict dress code (no tennis shoes, no T-shirts, no baggy clothes).

V-fest Round-up

If you didn't make it out to Downtown West for the 3rd Annual Valleyfest Film Festival last weekend, you missed some of the best shorts, docs, features, animations, and experimentals that have graced Knoxville's screens since, well, last year's festival. Thursday night's East Tennessee Film block—with work by locals Scott Colthorp, Jayne Morgan, Sundance-winner Paul Harrill, Larsen Jay, O.C. Jones, Margaret Ann King, Joey Johnson, and James Henry—packed the theater and left patrons sitting in the aisle. Good to see that many people supporting the homegrown product. On Sunday night, prizes were handed out at Fairbanks Roasting Room. And the winners are: 75 Degrees in July—Feature; Blood Brothers—Documentary; In the Refrigerator—Short; Left—Animation; Of God and Man—Experimental; Pig Farm—Film as a Four-Letter Word; and The Sleep Seeker—Audience award.

Of course, there are some awards I'd like to have seen handed out. For instance, New Jersey's Dave Gebroe, director/producer of The Homeboy, could have easily taken the "Biggest Self-promoter" award with his constant reminders to any who'd listen about when his (surprisingly funny) flick would screen. Michael Lasater's Passing Figure would take the prize for best use of breathing as a soundtrack. Buffalo's Rick Kleinsmith's The Darker the Berry... should get a nod for ickiest on-screen kiss. Of course, organizers Glen Glover, Melinda Wolfe, and Donna Maxwell deserve the biggest prize of all for their endurance and determination to hold such a successful event in Knoxville.


Thursday: Greg Horne's Exploding Band at Barley's. A free show from a pretty dang good local folk-ish songwriter.

Friday: Karl Shiflett and the Big Country Show at Palace Theatre. Bluegrass music that'll tickle your toes.

Saturday: The Faults with Geisha at Pilot Light. Mic Harrison leads this rock machine to water and makes it drink.

Sunday: Benjamin Smokeat Pilot Light. Smoke is a documentary of Opal Foxx Quartet and Smoke lead artist Benjamin, speed freak, drag queen, and inspiration for the likes of Patti Smith and Michael Stipe.

Monday: Benefit for Planned Parenthood withthe Jodie Manross Band, Nancy Brennan Strange and Louise Mosrie at Tomato Head. Sponsored by Women Out Loud.

Tuesday: Prune your dogwood.

Wednesday: Gran Torino at Moose's Music Hall. Local funk outfit gets in the groove.

—Emma "Spring and sprung" Poptart

March 22, 2001 * Vol. 11, No. 12
© 2001 Metro Pulse