From our favorite Electroboy:
Eye on the (Web) Scene
Knoxville is probably best known for blues and techno on the web, but as we've seen it's home to a lot of hip-hop as well. One of the more successful outfits is HotBeats Productions, which features both complete songs (and fourcount 'em, fourCDs at the usual ridiculously low Web CD price: $6.99!) and collections of homemade loops and samples that are offered for free use on local CDs. Their stuff is clean and tight, ranging from Dirty South to breakbeat to R&B. Check 'em out at www.mp3.com/HotBeatsProduction. (No, there's no "s" at the end. I don't know why.)
Jodie Manross is well known in these parts for her vocal and acoustic skills. (And not just in these partsI spoke a while back with Beki Hemingway, a similarly-styled artist from Chicago who has opened for the likes of Aimee Mann, and Beki said that Manross "blew her off the stage" when the two played at Barley's). She's got quite a few tracks from her CD Still up and available for free download at www.mp3.com/JodieManross.
Returning to Knoxville's traditional strengths, "we love science" techno (or "tech-know" as it's sometimes called) is one. And Tacit Blue adds another twist to this genre with dreamy, space-themed ambient and new age. It's the brainchild of Jim Rogers and Chris Crabtree, one of whom (Jim) lives in Knoxville, while the other (Chris) lives in Kansas City. "The Crossing" made good use of the liquid-nitrogen-cooled subwoofers here at Electroboy Secret Headquarters ("think of it as your personal soundtrack for a vacation trip to the moon," they say), while other songs like "ModelB/Heat Transfer/Model C" and "Three Theory" leave no doubts about their enthusiasm for technology. If you like Tangerine Dream or Brian Eno, you'll probably be into these guys. They've got several CDs dirt cheap, too! They're at www.mp3.com/tacitblue.
Think I'm leaving somebody out? Then email me at [email protected] and point me toward their site!
Local CD Review
Jennifer Daniels, Dive & Fly (TNtrees Music)
With the release of Dive & Fly, Lookout Mountain native Jennifer Daniels joins the ever-swelling ranks of the Lillith Fair set. Daniels' self-released CD has all the necessary requirements of today's pop marketplace: top notch production, skilled studio players and keen arrangements.
As with many of today's successful femme singer/songwriters, Daniels' key problem is a lack of grit. The lyrics cover the usual spectrum of introspection and pensive wistfulness, areas of emotional terrain that are all too predictable for the genre. Daniels' inspiration seems to come from rather tepid performers like Jewel or Stevie Nicks, where she might be better served looking into the repertoire of Patti Smith or Gillian Welch.
Just as too many male lyricists fall into the tough-guy syndrome, it seems that many women in the neo-folk niche opt for the lace and butterflies outlook. Sadly, you can tell just by looking at the cover art exactly what lies within Dive & Fly. Sure, it's emotionalbut what else would you expect?
That said, there's no denying that Daniels is indeed good at what she does. And apparently she's been wowing 'em all over the Southeast, from Borders to Atlanta folk hotspot Eddie's Attic. Let's just hope that on her next release, Daniels opts to loosen up a little bit. A dash of humor, anger or something other than the wounded bird perspective would surely serve to infuse some much-needed energy.
Daniels will play a local CD release party on Thursday, April 19, 9 p.m., at Barley's.
Thursday: The big show in Market Square, of course.
Friday: Murderman at Pilot Light. The freaks come out to play.
Saturday: Beatlemania! at Civic Auditorium. Not bugs. Mop-top tunes.
Sunday: Albert Herring at Carousel Theatre. UT Opera production about being young.
Monday: Eat more funnel cakes.
Tuesday: Sandra Lee at Barnes and Noble. Lee'll be signing Whirlwind, a book about some Butchers.
Wednesday: Annie Get Your Gun at Civic Auditorium. I love Rex Smith. No, really.
Emma "No Business Like It" Poptart
April 19, 2001 * Vol. 11, No. 16
© 2001 Metro Pulse