Off the Couch: Time to start sound checks for World Music Day

The What Cheer? Brigade will be at Wayne-O-Rama on Saturday.
The What Cheer? Brigade will be at Wayne-O-Rama on Saturday.
photo Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

LISA DENTON: Barry, I don't know if you remember, but last year Chattanooga took part in World Music Day for the first time. Wednesday, local musicians will be at it again at venues all around town. There will be bands at clubs, an instrument petting zoo at one of the downtown Passageways and ukulele lessons in the Choo Choo Gardens, among other things.

My favorite part of the day, though, is surprise saxophone solos of "Careless Whisper" as a tribute to the late George Michael. This is where a saxophone player will just show up at a random, nonmusical place, play the song and leave.

BARRY COURTER: Drive-by music-ing. I like it. World Music Day is a pretty cool idea. More than 700 cities in 120 countries will be participating. In Tennessee, it's us and Nashville. There is no cost to get involved, and there are no skill level requirements. I've been working up an arrangement of "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the armpit (it's a visual tour de force as well, though some people seem to think I'm having some sort of fit for some reason), but I could do "Careless Whisper," I think.

LISA: Not to shoot down a dream, but your armpit melodies don't allow for much whispering, so I think you should stick with "Bumblebee." It's music for the eyes and ears. And nose, now that I think about it.

Of course your musical talent isn't the only thing to keep us entertained this week. With Riverbend finished, the Chattanooga Lookouts are back at home starting Thursday. The best news is that they've rescheduled Star Wars Night for Saturday. June the 24th doesn't have the same catchy sound as the original date, May the 4th, but at least they get to do their programming, which includes costumed characters, a jersey auction benefiting the Hydrocephalus Association and post-game fireworks.

BARRY: This is a busy week at Wayne-O-Rama, which means it's a really busy one. They've been going like gangbusters for several weeks with shows and lots of visitors. I hear a lot of out-of-towners are stopping by. Not surprising, given Wayne White's reputation. And it's just cool.

Anyway, American guitarist Shane Parish is there on Thursday and then What Cheer? Brigade, a mobile big-band party from Providence, R.I., stops by Saturday. They've been here three times before, including once leading a parade across the Walnut Street Bridge.

LISA: Parish probably doesn't want your accompaniment, but the What Cheer? Brigade is a raucous group. I feel pretty confident they'd let you march along playing your armpit.

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