IF YOU GO
* What: Check Your Blood Sugar Halloween Bash with The Communicators.
* When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
* Where: Track 29, 1400 Market St.
* Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
* Phone: 423-521-2929.
* Website: www.track29.co.
After two years of bringing together a diverse group of musicians to re-create some of the most-beloved albums of the late '80s and '90s, local tribute collective The Communicators is returning to its roots this Halloween.
Formed in 2011 by members of indie rock trio Glowing Bordis, The Communicators debuted -- albeit without an official band name -- at Track 29 with a Halloween show covering The Beastie Boys' fourth album, "Ill Communication." On Saturday, Oct. 26, the group once again will take the stage at the Market Street venue, this time to perform "Ill Communication's" predecessor, "Check Your Head," and Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Blood Sugar Sex Magik."
Taking on another Beastie Boys album will give the evening an appropriate sense of symmetry, says Glowing Bordis drummer and Communicators co-founder Jonathan Susman, but the group has been flirting with tackling the Peppers' seven-time platinum-certified album since the first rehearsal. It wasn't until recently that its members found time enough to tackle its many nuances, he says.
"We knew we wanted to put time and attention to it," Susman says. "It's really technical music they're playing, and there are subtleties that I didn't even hear from listening to it over the decades. When you study and dissect it, there are little intricate parts that have to be there."
In typical fashion, The Communicators will feature a mashup of local artists, including members of Red Necklace, Nim Nims, Ryan Oyer Band, Digital Butter, Strung Like a Horse and The Snake Doctors. The show also will feature "theatrical elements," sideshow antics courtesy of Subterranean Cirqus and dancers from local studios. In all, Susman says, the show should see more than 20 people onstage.
Hip-hop/electronic outfit New Planet will kick off the evening with a short set, followed by the "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" performance. After a costume contest interlude, The Communicators will finish with "Check Your Head."
The collective's members always have risen to the demands of the material they cover, whether albums, soundtracks or themed shows, Susman says, but this show promises to be a real finger killer.
"These are not easy albums. In fact, I think we picked two of the harder albums from that decade to cover for this, but it's been a lot of fun," he says. "I think that, over two years of dedicating so much time to doing different songs and albums, our musicianship has improved incredibly."
Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
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 ...