published Monday, April 29th, 2013

Get Off the Couch: 'Iron Man 3,' Nightfall, hot Lips coming soon

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I'm thinking of getting a bunch of T-shirts printed up and selling them at the Chattanooga Market. They would have all of the nicknames people have come up with for our lovely city.

I can come up with Gig City, Scenic City, Choo-Choo City, Trail Town, Boulder of the East, Dynamo of Dixie, Gateway to the South and, my favorite, Hill City Hipsters, though I might have made the last one up. It should be the name of our dart team, if we ever form one.

LISA DENTON: Don't forget Chattaboogie, my favorite. Hill City Hipsters may make you want to throw darts, but Chattaboogie makes me want to dance.

We may get a new nickname to add to the collection when "Iron Man 3" opens Friday. Most of the filming took place in North Carolina, but some of the story is set in Chattanooga, or what one online synopsis describes as "rural Tennessee." I guess any place with fewer than 1 million residents is "rural" by Hollywood standards.

BARRY: Forgot about Chatta- Vegas, too. The first two "Iron Man" movies were pretty good, so people are excited about the city being part of this one in any way. I hope that "rural Tennessee" reference doesn't mean we'll be painted as rubes.

LISA: What? Us? Rubes?

Of course, it is based on a comic book, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the filmmakers might take some creative license with the plot. Or setting. Or characters.

You know, if we thought about it, we could probably come up with more movie stereotypes about the South than nicknames for Chattanooga. Like a state trooper chewing on a piece of dried straw when he makes a traffic stop. Or everybody sweating as if air-conditioning hasn't been discovered here yet. Oh, and maybe in "Iron Man 3," Pepper Potts could sport a mullet so she could fit in down heah.

BARRY: You hit on my pet peeve -- Southern accents in Hollywood. They want to believe everyone in the South tawks lack this rite heah, and you and I both know not all twangs are the same.

Moving on, there are several big music events this week as well. Charlie Daniels and Overland will team up once again at Engel Stadium (they played together there years ago). Nightfall gets under way Friday with Lee Fields & the Expressions. The Boxcar Pinion Memorial Bluegrass Festival is this weekend. And the Flaming Lips are at Track 29 on Saturday.

I've seen Wayne Coyne and the Lips a couple of times, and people are in for an audio/visual experience.

LISA: If you don't have your ticket yet, you can kiss the Lips goodbye. That show's sold out.

You know what would make up for missing it? The Running of the Chihuahuas. The annual event takes place Saturday at First Tennessee Pavilion, the day before the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Chattanooga Market. It is one fierce competition.

BARRY: In some weird way, that just might be a good alternative.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact staff writer Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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