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Casey Phillips

Stories by Casey

Starting Friday, the Con Nooga multifandom convention will celebrate its eighth year as a gathering point for Wookie lovers and would-be wizards throughout the region.

Striking out on her own has been a hugely liberating experience for banjo player and singer/songwriter Cia Cherryholmes.

Economic alchemy is the only way to describe it.

To some, the empty lots and dilapidated factories that dot Chattanooga are unwelcome reminders of the Dynamo of Dixie days, industrial blemishes marring the Gig City’s gleaming surface.

Don't be fooled by the saccharine greeting cards. Try not to seek wisdom in a bag of candy hearts. Whatever messages Valentine's Day is trying to sell, romance isn't just holding hands and declaring one's love from rooftops.

Sometimes the recognition a band receives at an awards show can seem almost prophetic when viewed in retrospect.

Two weeks ago, I wrote that I was staggeringly underwhelmed by what I described as yet another crop of predictable headliner announcements for this year's Riverbend Festival.

Forget hard to find. Sometimes, the quest for one’s fated partner can feel like trying to lasso a greased unicorn. For some, despite years of waiting and hoping, it never happens.

If the dog world has a black sheep, it is undeniably the pit bull.

Last week, Spotify notified me that I had a new user following one of my playlists. At first, my heart leapt, but when I glanced at the size of my audience, it plummeted back to the warm, sloshy pit of my stomach.

Last October, NASA announced that after 36 years of travel, the Voyager 1 probe had left the solar system and become the first man-made object to reach interstellar space.

If it weren't for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Travis Kilgore wouldn't have met his wife, Heather.

A 30-year veteran of comic collecting and selling, Harper, 52, stores an inventory of 16,000 to 20,000 at his home in Paducah, Ky. The showpiece items, such as No. 1 issues of "Batman" and "Captain America," are kept in his office. Run-of-the-mill, low-value books end up in the garage.

When it comes to their phones, Americans are only a little less rigidly divided along party lines than Congress.

Every year, it begins with denial, and it ends — grudgingly — with acceptance.

To music lovers in the '90s who appreciated a bit of insight into popular bands' creative processes, there were few series as beloved as VH1's "Storytellers" and MTV's "MTV Unplugged."

With its monumentally successful fourth album in 1971, Led Zeppelin all but defined the sound of '70s hard rock.

Last December, a little over a month after his 81st birthday, James Graham died in a Nashville hospital after a long struggle with lymphoma. But when his granddaughter Hayley Graham logs onto Facebook, it's like he's still around.

As much time as I spend with my attention firmly fixed on the future and all things forthcoming -- video games, movies, gadgets -- I do relish any opportunity to pivot sharply on my heel and pay homage to the past.

A tight musical turning radius. Rock-solid chemistry. A secret language onstage.By Casey Phillips

There are few events in Chattanooga, or elsewhere, at which the phrase "of course there will be robot battles" generally won't even elicit a raised eyebrow.

"Tbl brings 8 mo. old. It cries. Diners mad. Tell ppl no kids? Subject diners 2crying? Ppl take infants 2 plays? Concerts? Hate saying no, but."

If they were to suddenly find themselves transported 100,000 years into the past, Whiskers and Rover would probably be confounded by their ancestors' eating habits.

Ruth Glover has curated the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Cress Gallery for about 15 years and, as she sifts every December through the submissions to the annual student art exhibition, she’s consistently taken aback by the strength of the art program.

In 4.5 seconds, a driver with his foot to the floor in a Ferrari 512 won’t have accelerated to 60 miles per hour; a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building will still be hundreds of feet off the ground.

When it comes to musical homages, few bands pose as monumental a challenge to emulate accurately as Pink Floyd, but a Queen tribute is hardly a walk in the park.

When it comes to entertainment in Chattanooga, the first few weeks of the year historically have been a bit lifeless, but the times they are a-changin'.

When it comes to the state of his career, Of Montreal lead singer Kevin Barnes doesn’t mince words.

To some parents, putting a hammer in a child's hands sounds like the prelude to a destructive nightmare, but if they are properly supervised, helping youngsters learn to use tools safely has its upside.

Bubble gum. Sugary. Popcorn. Danceable. There are many words people use to describe pop music, but every once in a while, a song climbs the charts whose underlying message belies its upbeat trappings.

For about a decade, Beatles tribute artist Abbey Road Live! has performed note-for-note Fab Four covers several times a year at Rhythm & Brews. On Saturday, Jan. 11, the musicians are changing things up with their first show at Track 29.

Last year, local bluesman Lon Eldridge released an album with harmonicist Ed Huey, embarked on a five-week European tour, began studying gypsy jazz guitar and founded a new swing band, the 9th Street Stompers.

Bubble gum. Sugary. Popcorn. Danceable. There are many words people use to describe pop music, but every once in a while, a song climbs the charts whose underlying message belies its upbeat trappings.

There are just over 17,000 words in Shakespeare's 154 sonnets. F. Scott Fitzgerald's magnum opus, "The Great Gatsby," barely squeaks past 47,000. Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" doesn't even crest 50,000.

Despite its seemingly scatterbrained appearance, there’s a kind of artistic asymmetry to the confused jumble of patches on a crazy quilt that somehow works despite itself.

Writing a column is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I get to spout off my opinions about whatever is bothering me. On the other hand, being an open-minded human being, my opinions sometimes do an about-face.

For two years, local music tribute collective The Communicators has made a name for itself through tight re-creations of well-known albums, from Beck’s “Odelay” to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.”

Given that Christmas just ended, many of you are probably just now emerging, bleary-eyed, from the traditional yuletide gift coma.

Like many scientists discussing their work, Anjali Chandra can rattle off a stream of technical terminology that could give ancient Greek a run for its money in sheer incomprehensibility to the layperson.

For many Chattanoogans, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s annual “Home for the Holidays” performance is a yuletide tradition, and this year, first-year producer Joel D. Scribner is hoping to bring even more people into the fold.

Howlin’ Wolf. Robert Johnson. Ramblin’ Thomas. To many people, these are just bolded names on the timeline of blues music, but guitarist Paul Geremia has spent more than 45 years studying them and absorbing their music. To him, they’re more like mentors.

Normally, by this time of year, I’m putting the finishing touches on my list of best albums, but I’m having trouble filling it out.

Facebook users are a pretty supportive bunch. According to the social network's statistics, each of its 1.2 billion users click the thumbs-up "like" button an average of four times every day.

The artists may be related, but River Gallery's latest exhibit featuring works by John, Lynn and Marty Whipple shows that sharing a name doesn't equate to sharing artistic impulses.

As the term implies, B-films are Hollywood's second-stringers, the low-budget afterthoughts that are beloved mostly because of their often-glaring rough edges. They aren't supposed to be in the spotlight.

By the time the holiday season arrives, most bands are worn out from a busy fall touring season and are looking for a place to hang their stockings. The Infamous Stringdusters, on the other hand, are gearing up for a busy first half of 2014.

In 2010, after a lifetime of nomadic moves around the country — Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York City — Greg Tardy landed in Knoxville to teach jazz at the University of Tennessee. A globetrotting saxophonist with international performing experience, Tardy says his musical approach is impacted by every place he lands.

In the 1850s, California was the site of a mad scrabble to pull a fortune from the ground with a pickax, a metal pan and maybe a donkey or two. The last five years have seen an equivalent to that frenzy, but instead of Sutter's Mill and the Sierra Nevada, the 21st-century gold rush is taking place online on Google Play and the App Store.

The problem with being a member of an all-star musical ensemble is that getting out from under its shadow can be a trial.

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