A couple of program notes before we get to the meat of the topic, today. I’d like to offer up a semi-random “thank you” to you guys. The site hit 25,000 page-views last month which is a long way from the 5 page views I started with 3 1/2 years ago (four of them were me). Also, I’d like to welcome my newest sponsor: Clarence Brown Theater has purchased a spot for the next couple of months to promote their production of “A Christmas Carol.” I’ve been to many of their productions over the years and always enjoy them. I plan to see if I can get Urban Girl to this one.
I always struggle to find jus the right First Friday balance. There are so many people and places I’d like to stop in on, but if I try to catch them all, I wind up exhausted and feeling like I didn’t really sink my teeth into anything. The temptation is to find one thing to really enjoy and settle in for the night. That, of course, leads to regrets at the things I missed. Wandering also allows me the pleasure of stumbling into the unexpected.
This past Friday night I probably erred in the direction of trying to do too much. Urban Woman and I started off with food and a margarita at the re-vamped Blue Coast Burrito, which is now Blue Coast Grill and Bar. I’ll have more on that in another article. Feeling tired, she called it an evening and cut me loose.
One of the first sights I ran into was a hearse parked at the south end of Market Square. My friend J. Adam Smith recently purchased the beauty which he says gets a solid twelve miles per gallon for use with his Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tours. He’s invited me to bring a group along on a paranormal investigation (tickets are $20) and I think I’ll do it, soon. Interested? Email me. I’ve got Mindy and Ally on the list already. Who else?
I walked toward the 100 block of Gay Street because I really wanted to see several things going on in that area. I didn’t make it past the Knoxville Welcome Center where WDVX had the music going on. I couldn’t pass by because the music I heard on the street was too good. I walked inside and listened to several songs by Brendon James Wright and the Wrongs. I don’t know what he calls his music, but it sounded to my ears like what country music ought to be. Well crafted songs, excellent vocals and a solid band goes a long way toward soothing the soul. They were very good.
I stopped into Style of Civilization to see the art of Beth Meadows (and, of course, my friend Nina). I’ve posted her work before, most recently in the form of her Pecha Kucha design. She also volunteers for Knox Heritage, which makes her a pretty cool person out the gate, in my book.
On the sidewalk I found another artist at work. I also greatly enjoyed the sounds of the funk band playing on the street. This is the second month they’ve been doing their thing on the sidewalk and they transform the block from an interesting place to a great party. They told me the name of the band and I promptly forgot it. Anybody? Inside Gallery Nuance I saw one of many people who just can’t let go of Halloween.
I spent a while inside the Emporium. It was a destination for me that night because the East Tennessee Woodworkers had a three day exhibit and I remember from last year what a spectacular exhibit it is. I wish it stayed there all month so more people could see it. The work is simply amazing, with an intricacy I can’t imagine having the patience for. The circular table pictured here, for example, took 400 hours to produce. I wouldn’t want to sell it at that point.
The wood working ranged from the very practical to the more whimsical, but it was all high quality. Of course, a wood-worker with a great beard is hard to pass up if you happen to have a camera. I also lingered in the back room and listened to the jazz jam lead by Vance Thompson who directs the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. He will front the entire orchestra this Tuesday at the Square Room. They are selling it out when they play there, so you might want to grab your tickets today.
After the Emporium I walked into the Old City, stopping into 2 Many Pixels. The entries from their photograph contest were posted and I really enjoyed the range of work shown there. I picked up a great cup of coffee from Java and a (world’s greatest) doughnut from Mr. Canteen and returned to the 100 block to enjoy it while listening to the funk band. Unfortunately I just caught the last few bars of their final song because everything stops at 9:00, right? Have I mentioned that I hate that? (And yes, Scott and Bernadette, I know there’s more music at Pres. Pub, but you know what I mean).