Off the Couch: Make Music Day gets all involved

A Wednesday show by The Bohannons will serve as a video shoot for the first single from their next album. Footage shot by the crowd on cellphones will be used for the video.
photo Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, Tuesday is Make Music Day and here's the part that caught my eye: It's free, and musicians of any age or skill level can participate. I qualify on all three counts. I've told you I can't play the radio, so this event is perfect for me.

LISA DENTON: You're in luck. As part of Make Music Day, Community Karaoke starts at noon at Miller Plaza, or you could opt for a ukulele lesson at 2:30 p.m. at the Chattanooga Public Library. You don't come across as a "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" kind of guy, but you might surprise me. For your falsetto, you could channel the sound you made when you saw that rat in your rafters.

BARRY: The sound that came out of my mouth when I came face to face with that carcass is still floating through space as we speak, and I'm pretty sure several neighborhood dogs went deaf immediately. I'm not proud of it, but it's what happened. I swear, it had fangs like a saber-tooth tiger. Huge.

And you are correct about the tiptoeing. I'm more of a tulip stomp kind of guy. In my mind, I'm Prince on the dance floor; the reality is I move like one of the Ents, the giant tree characters from "Lord of the Rings."

LISA: Make Music Day is actually a very cool event. The website ( lists 12 places around town that will serve as venues. Programming starts at noon, and the finale is a free concert by The Communicators at 8 p.m. at Miller Plaza.

BARRY: The library has several things planned throughout the day, including a harmonica workshop, walk-up open-microphone duets and the ukulele lesson you mentioned. By the way, The Communicators are doing "1999," the Prince album, so I can show you my moves. Like a mighty oak in the wind.

LISA: As long as you can bend without breaking.

We also need to pencil in the Bohannons' video shoot Wednesday night at Cine-Rama at 100 W. Main St. They plan to use footage shot by the audience, even from cellphones, to create the video for the first single of their upcoming album, "Luminary Angels." The Dexateens will open the show.

BARRY: That's a cool idea. I'm kind of surprised it isn't done more often.

LISA: And Cliff Cash, Tom Simmons and Stewart Huff are bringing their Sick of Stupid Comedy Tour to The Comedy Catch this weekend. On their website, they make the case that people smart enough to work for NASA live in Huntsville, Ala.; there are more Ph.D's in Raleigh, N.C., than anywhere else in the country; and the highest concentration of wealth is in western North Carolina. Who knew? Yet for many people, the mascot of the South is Honey Boo Boo.

BARRY: Well, while we do have some really smart people, we also have some folks who think "gig" has more to do with froggin' than computers.

Speaking of smart people, John Prine is at the Tivoli on Friday. Opening for him is Amanda Shires. She is Jason Isbell's wife and fiddle player. He was there on the big stage, but I got to see her on a really small stage at Bonnaroo, and she is very good. That should be a great show.

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