published Friday, November 18th, 2011

Phillips: Stuff the turkey ... Beck-themed Christmas bash coming

Thanksgiving is still a week out, but in keeping with holiday tradition as set forth by the Church of Retail Consumerism, it's already time to start thinking of Christmas.

What says "Happy birthday, Jesus" like the eccentric folk-pop stylings of a long-haired Californian? Well, plenty of things, obviously, but based on a recent event listing that cropped up on Facebook, the members of a local music collective are hoping you'll overlook that detail.

The Communicators -- a newly formed supergroup consisting of members of Glowing Bordis, The Nim Nims and Toneharm -- made a big impact when they performed the entirety of The Beastie Boys' "Ill Communication" at Track 29's Halloween Bash. Earlier this week, they announced their return to Track 29 for a second album-centric show, Beck the Halls Christmas Jamboree, on Dec. 23.

In addition to individual sets by the participating bands, including newcomer Strung Like a Horse, the Jamboree will feature a rendition of Beck's seminal 1996 album "Odelay."

Like "Ill Communication," "Odelay" mixes elements from a wide range of styles with popular cuts such as "Where It's At," "Devil's Haircut" and "The New Pollution."

That made it ideally suited to The Communicators' talent pool, said Glowing Bordis lead singer TJ Greever.

"It's got the DJs, the rock, the hip-hop," he said. "I wore that record out, big time."

Earlier this month, Track 29 co-owner Adam Kinsey was ebullient in his praise of The Communicators' debut, which attracted a crowd of about 1,100.

While it might have come off smoothly in the end, the concert was the result of a lot of effort, including about 20 rehearsals over the course of six weeks, Greever said.

By the time they walked offstage after multiple costume changes and hours of playing, the effort was well worth it.

"It was overwhelmingly awesome," Greever said. "It was possibly my top musical moment in Chattanooga in 15 years."

Seven weeks out, Greever said The Communicators should be able to meet more than a dozen times to iron out the details of the album's 13 cuts.

The cycle won't end there. Greever said The Communicators will continue to explore themed shows in the future, though likely at other venues than Track 29.

Some of the projects that have been suggested so far include Outkast's "Stankonia" (2000) and Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" (1991).

And in case hearing that country musician Eric Church is the first announced headliner for next year's Riverbend didn't get your blood flowing, Greever said The Communicators have received feelers from Friends of the Festival's Jeff Styles to perform at the festival.

In the meantime, if all you want for Christmas is two turntables and a microphone, The Communicators have you covered. Best of all, there's no need to camp out on Black Friday to get them.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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XGSBoss said...

Holy crap!! I was so afraid the headline refered to Glenn Beck. WHOOOO what a relief!!

November 18, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
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