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Eye on the Scene

Local CD review

The Rockwells

From the looks of it, the Rockwells are a dead-on parody of early '60s rock, what with the suits and the haircuts and the Rickenbackers and the mock liner notes. But that's just looks, baby; once you put the new CD, star*smile*strong, in the changer, it's clear that the Rockwells are just dripping with sincerity in their efforts not only to recreate the sparkling jangle rock of the early Beatles and the Dave Clark Five but to make a fine pop record by any standard.

And by damn they've done it—again. On this, their third record, Memphis-transplant brothers Jonathan (guitar, vocals) and Fred Kelly (bass, vocals), aided by Tommy (guitar) and Trace Bateman (drums) have written another solid collection of Merseybeat-influenced tunes with ringing guitars and high fraternal harmonies. It's slightly disorienting; we're more used to hearing songs that hint at the early '60s than music so explicitly created to sound like an archival recording. But underneath all the reverence for the past, these are good songs, played well and with heart. It's an altogether winning combination.

V is for Victory

In an effort to move around some of the pieces of paper on my ever-terrifying desk, I once again unearthed info for some contest-type events for the more musically inclined. First, the Tennessee Valley Fair will be holding a Battle of the Bands on Sept. 10, with the winner receiving some nifty keen prizes and the chance to open for the Sept. 12 Superdrag/The Faults concert at the Homer Hamilton Pavilion. Entry forms are available at Disc Exchange, Cat's, Guitar Center and online at

For those less rock inclined, the Jazz Composers Alliance is holding its ninth annual Julius Hemphill Composition Award contest, in which $3,000 in cash plus prizes will be shoved at the winning up-and-coming composers. Two categories—Large Ensembles (8 instruments or voices and larger) and Small Ensembles (1-7 instruments or voices)—will be open for entries. For more information, contact [email protected], call 781-899-3130, or write Box 491, Allston, MA, 02134.

More Old City Art

Not content with having just one mural adorning the facades of the Old City, artists have started a second—this one on the Central Avenue side of Lucille's. As with the music mural opposite Barley's, Walt Fieldsa is again the primary artist, which is an impressionist painting of the steam-powered trains that screamed through Knoxville through the turn of the century. The 20th century, that is. Randall Starnes, Eva Scruggs, and Ken Britton are also lending a hand. Swing through and check it out.


Thursday: Merry Wives of Windsorat Black Box Theatre. Or, if you're itching for some fiercely fun original tunes, The Gourds at Blue Cats.

Friday: The Features with Catfight. I will make the power pop of The Features a household sound, even if I have to do it single-handedly, and ear-by-ear.

Saturday: Days of the New at Blue Cats. Travis Meeks' vision is not my cup of tea (or pint of beer) but some think he's a genius.

Sunday: Sleep in. Eat Krispy Kremes. Repeat.

Monday: Absolute Wood at The Spot. Ease into the week.

Tuesday: Open Mic Night at Threenineteen hosted by Knoxville's favorite freak, Rus Harper. Says it all, don't you think?

Wednesday: Bent at Clarence Brown Lab Theatre. A riveting show about the Holocaust and sexual orientation.

—Emma "Peeling like a banana" Poptart

July 26, 2001 * Vol. 11, No. 30
© 2001 Metro Pulse