If you go
› What: Week of Wayne
› Where: Wayne-O-Rama, 1800 Rossville Ave., Suite 108
› When: 7:30 tonight, June 22
› Admission: $10
What Cheer? Brigade
› When: 8 p.m. Saturday, June 24
› Admission: $12
Frank Pahl, Bill Brovold, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel, Wayne-O-Rama All Stars
› When: 8 p.m. Friday, June 30
› Admission: $12
› For more information: 423-902-8021
More Wayne White to come
“Thrill After Thrill: 30 Years of Wayne White,” an exhibit of artwork by Wayne White, opens at the Hunter Museum of American Art on Thursday, June 29, with a members preview reception.
It opens to the public Friday, June 30, at the museum, 10 Bluff View. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit continues through Oct. 1.
Wayne-O-Rama, the art gallery/music venue/meeting space inside Tenn Art on Rossville Avenue, looks to be a busy place over the next eight days. The space continues its year-long celebration of the work of artist Wayne White and it will host three performances by visiting musicians beginning tonight with guitarist Shane Parish.
What Cheer? Brigade, a big-band mobile party from Providence, R.I., will perform on Saturday, June 24. The Week of Wayne wraps up June 30 with an evening of music from Frank Pahl, Bill Brovold, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel as well as the Wayne-O-Rama All Stars led by White himself on banjo.
Wayne-O-Rama is the brainchild of Emmy Award-winning artist and Hixson native Wayne White. He is known for his work as a puppeteer, illustrator, animator, cartoonist and art director. He is best-known for his set design work on "Pee-wee's Playhouse" and on Peter Gabriel's video "Sledgehammer."
For Wayne-O-Rama, which he calls "Chattanooga's fun house," he created large puppets depicting iconic Chattanoogans such as Empress of the Blues Bessie Smith, TV kids show host Bob Brandy, radio/TV personality Luther Masingill and Indian Chief Dragging Canoe. He also created a giant cardboard model of Lookout Mountain featuring landmarks such as the Incline, Rock City and Ruby Falls.
Wayne-O-Rama is a year-long project that involved volunteers from around the country, as well as local art students and teachers. It has become a popular destination for locals and out-of-towners, says Bob Stagner of the Shaking Ray Levi Society, which is presenting the shows.
"I mean, people are not knocking down the doors, but they are planning their vacations and summers around coming here," he said.
He's especially proud, though not surprised, that the space has become a popular musical venue.
"We all want that entire experience and to be able to say, 'I saw that there.' It was always a dream of ours to curate in a space that is a one-of-a-kind — and this is it. "
Wayne-O-Rama gets dismantled in September and Stagner says some of the pieces could become traveling exhibits and some could find permanent homes. Until then, it will continue to be a busy place.
"This place is going to cook all the way through summer."
Parish released "Undertaker Please Drive Slow," his second instrumental solo acoustic album, last year. He interpreted several Appalachian, folk, blues, gospel and old English tunes into his tape recorder, drawing from his background in classical guitar, country blues, jazz and free improvisation to let the songs flow.
Saxophonist and composer John Zorn heard the demo and offered to produce the album.
"Taking classic old timey folk songs, Shane has abstracted them in utterly fascinating ways evoking the haunting and brooding world of the American South. A spiritual project that will keep you riveted from first note to last," Zorn said of the works.
The What Cheer? Brigade from Providence is like a marching band on an atomic fireball sugar rush that darts from New Orleans brass band tunes to Bollywood dance numbers to whirlwind Balkan folk to bombastic hip-hop, with a ton of surprises along the way.
What Cheer? Brigade first appeared here in 2009, when the (then) 19-piece marching band led a parade across the Walnut Street Bridge followed by an outdoor set outside the Winder Binder Gallery on the North Shore.
The Brigade returned in 2013 for a set at Sluggo's North. The New York Times wrote of them: "Thrillingly competent, with undimmable energy an explosion of good cheer."
The June 30 show with Frank Pahl, Bill Brovold, Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel and Wayne-O-Rama All Stars is the Wayne-O-Rama version of a variety show.
Pahl is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, instrument inventor and creator of automated sound sculptures from Michigan. He is also known as a member of the avant-folk outfit Only a Mother and Little Bang Theory, which only uses toy instruments.
Brovold is a guitarist, composer and visual artist who was a fixture on the downtown New York City scene in the '80s and worked closely with sonic pioneer Rhys Chatham before founding the visionary, Detroit-based rock incubator, Larval.
Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel is a duo from Atlanta with more than 10 years together that "creates hypnotic pulses and dreamy drones that weave together to form a kaleidoscope of sounds and moods, like a long-lost soundtrack to a deep-sea documentary," according to a news release about the event.
The Wayne-O-Rama All Stars features Bryan Dyer, Eric Fairchild, Randy Fairchild, Joe Lance, Bob Stagner and Barry Wilde in addition to White. They will interpret classic tunes in their own special way.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.