Get Off The Couch: Basketball, bands top the agenda

Get Off The Couch: Basketball, bands top the agenda

January 13th, 2014 by Barry Courter and Lisa Denton in Life Entertainment

LISA DENTON: Barry, I'm thinking I might head out to the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast this weekend at UTC. I don't play a trumpet, mind you, and I'm not sure how welcoming they'd be if I whipped out my kazoo.

But you know how the fluorescent lights here in the newsroom are triggered automatically by movement? When you're the first one to work in the morning, you can literally light up the room when you walk in. How great is that? I'm thinking I could count on a trumpet fanfare when I enter the concert hall if I go to this festival. You know, like you're used to.

BARRY COURTER: Wait, you mean those lights aren't just for me? Dang. That would be pretty cool to walk into a room to trumpets blaring, as long as you were expecting it. It could necessitate a change of clothing if you were not.

Speaking of theme music - see what I did there? - the group with perhaps the most recognizable theme music ever returns to town on Wednesday. You can't hear "Sweet Georgia Brown" without thinking of the Harlem Globetrotters, and you can't think of them without instantly whistling that song. They'll be at McKenzie Arena. I wonder if they'll do the water bucket gag?

LISA: I'm betting they will. Why mess with a good thing? I know the gag is eons old because I remember watching old-timers like Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal do stunts like that on TV when I was a kid. I loved those guys. The current players do mix it up, though. They do a new dance routine called the Harlem Bounce, and fans can go online to www.harlemglobetrotters.com to vote on crazy rule changes, like having two basketballs in play at one time.

Maybe I should take my kazoo to the game, too. Kazoos might catch on at basketball games like vuvuzelas at South African soccer matches.

BARRY: I'm willing to bet I'd be the guy sitting in front of you if you did. Next to me would be the guy who thinks he's there to help the refs call the game.

There are several good live music shows this week also. Of Montreal is at Rhythm & Brews on Thursday, Blackberry Smoke is at Track 29 on Friday, Don Williams is at the Tivoli on Saturday and John Cowan is at Barking Legs Theater next Monday. But the one that really got my attention is "An Evening With Molly Ringwald" at Hiwassee College in Madisonville on Sunday.

I can't get within 100 yards of her for legal reasons anymore, but let's just say I was a big fan. I kid about the restraining order, but I am a fan, and some might be surprised to learn she is a very good singer. She has a new album and will be doing jazz numbers at the show. She does a really nice cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" from "The Breakfast Club."

LISA: She's a doll, for sure. I do wonder about the timing of this so-called "Evening" with Molly Ringwald. It starts at 3:30 p.m. Sounds like whoever set that up wanted to get home before dark and still have time to hit the early bird special at Golden Corral.

BARRY: That is "Downton Abbey" night, remember.

LISA: And speaking of Don Williams ... He sold out the Tivoli Theatre when he was here in March 2012. He was the most laid-back of any performer I've ever seen - sat down the whole time. It was still a great show. I played "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend" on my kazoo all the way home.

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Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.