Get Off the Couch: Jazzanooga, film fest, egg drop on tap

Get Off the Couch: Jazzanooga, film fest, egg drop on tap

March 31st, 2014 by Lisa Denton and Barry Rose in Life Entertainment

LISA DENTON: Barry, you know about earworms - songs that get stuck in your head? I've got one in there now. I could be wrong (it happens), but I don't think you'll mind if I share.

Here goes: "Take me out to the baaaallllll game, take me out to the crooooowwwwddd."

I'll pause while you sing the rest.

BARRY COURTER: This is really a ploy to get me to buy you some Cracker Jacks, isn't it?

LISA: I can't sing when I'm eating, so I'd say it's a good trade.

You can hear the song en masse this week at AT&T Field when the Chattanooga Lookouts open their season. They'll play a five-inning exhibition game Tuesday versus the Chattanooga State Tigers (6:15 p.m., $5), then start their first homestand Thursday against the Jackson Generals (7:15 p.m., $3-$9).

BARRY: You know I love baseball and baseball season. It's especially cool that the Looks do this exhibition, giving the college kids a chance to play against the pros, many of whom were college kids not that long ago. I'm especially proud of my friend Greg Dennis (we were high school teammates; he was very good), the Chatt State coach. He got his 700th win a couple of weeks ago, and more than half of those have come with the Tigers.

This is a fundraiser, so I hope people will not just buy a ticket but will show up and buy some of those peanuts and popcorn and Cracker Jacks. And both are home teams, so who you root, root, root for doesn't matter.

LISA: You know, if there's a jazz version of that song, we could probably hear it during April when Shane Morrow presents his monthlong celebration of Jazzanooga. This weekend alone, you can hear jazz at Waterhouse Pavilion, Barking Legs Theater, Bessie Smith Cultural Center, on the Hunter Museum bluff and aboard the Southern Belle.

Time to practice my scatting: "Take me out to the be-do-be-de-do-wah."

Seriously, Cracker Jacks would be a small price to pay.

BARRY: Who keeps the prize?

LISA: I keep the decoder ring. You keep your sanity with a few moments of silence. We both win.

BARRY: Jazzanooga has been around a couple of years, but not on this grand a scale. Morrow has put together a really cool series of events that are spread out all over town. They are designed to showcase what we have but also the history of jazz in Chattanooga and the people who helped make it what it is today. There are a lot of educational components to the events.

Don't forget also that the inaugural Chattanooga Film Festival starts Thursday. Chris Dortch, the son of your old colleague at The Chattanooga Times, is in charge, and he has found 21 feature-length movies and 30 short films. It is an ambitious undertaking.

LISA: I bet they're pretty pleased with the lineup. It looks like there's a little something for everybody -- movies made by Tennessee filmmakers as well as oddball films with mainstream stars such as Robin Wright, Thomas Haden Church, Sarah Paulson and Hailee Steinfeld.

"Hard Way Home" follows a through-hiker along the Appalachian Trail. "Banjo Romantika" looks at the popularity of bluegrass in the Czech Republic. "The Day After Stonewall Died," filmed at Hurricane Farm in Rocky Face, Ga., and Tracks Sports Bar & Grill in East Ridge, is about a father and son struggling to cope with the loss of their dog.

One of the after-hours screenings sounds intriguing. "Manos: The Hands of Fate" is a 1966 American horror flick that is considered, according to the program, "one of the worst films ever made." It became a cult classic after it was featured in a 1993 episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000."

BARRY: They've not seen some of my home movies, but "worst ever" does make me want to see it.

LISA: The whole schedule is online at, along with information on ticket packages.

Oh, and it's not too early for you to put on your Easter bonnet. The Venue Church will be dropping 50,000 eggs by helicopter at Camp Jordan on Saturday.

BARRY: Might need a helmet instead of a bonnet. That's quite a sortie.

LISA: At least it's put a new song in my head: "In your Easter bonnet, with all the Kevlar on it ..."

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