The musical lineup for the 11th annual Running of the Chihuahuas on May 5 at First Tennessee Pavilion again will feature a bevy of up-and-coming touring pop artists, but it will also feature a local musician making a national impression.
Popular local musician Nick Lutsko and his band the Gimmicks — "Brother Cobb," "Old Stumpy" and "Greasy Rick" — will perform some of the songs he has written and produced for Super Deluxe, a television company that features everything from short films and documentaries to original series.
Lutsko has created a number of videos for the site that are mashups of popular songs, pictures and videos of people in the news, the music industry, politics or pop culture. For example, he did one this past year focusing on what a rant by political commentator Alex Jones would sound like as a Bon Iver song. It has more than 16 million views and has been nominated for a Webby Award.
Another Lutsko Webby nominee is titled "He Is Emo Trump" and features the president singing a 2000-era emo-type song. Another looks at how Kanye West might sound like as a Tame Impala song.
He will also perform his latest original song "Grinning Like a Barracuda," which has been getting regular airplay on event presenter Hits 96 and sister station Alt 98.7.
"Me and [bandmate] 'Greasy Rick' will play along to a couple of the videos playing on a big screen and then the full band will do our show," Lutsko said.
Event organizer Brad Steiner said adding Lutsko to the lineup serves several purposes.
"If there is one place that we have we missed over the last 10 years or one spot that we were wanting to grow, it has been including local musicians, and we thought Nick was a great place to start. It also helps that his videos are genius and hilarious. What he is doing is unlike anything else out there, and we like to do something different and unique.
"You are not going to see this anywhere else. You will see a major viral video performed live. He's so fun and so funny. And he's local."
Also set to perform will be Unlikely Candidates, Livvia, Nina Nesbitt and Bryce Vine. Vine's song "Drew Barrymore" is now No. 6 on the song identifying app Shazam in the Chattanooga market.
"All of them are good new artists," Steiner said, "but people should be watching out for Bryce Vine. This will be his first ever radio-related performance, and he is going to be a big star."
The first Running of the Chihuahuas was held in the station's small parking lot on Broad Street 11 years ago, but it has grown into a full-blown event that fills First Tennessee Pavilion with more than 100 four-legged athletes, their owners and fans who enjoy spirited racing, food and drink vendors and live music.
When the race starts, six dogs compete in heats with each winner moving on to the next round of the competition. Big-screen TVs will surround the race site for optimum viewing.
"This Chattanooga institution has seen so many amazing champions," Steiner said, "but the best part is being able to see so many familiar faces that come back and race year after year.
"Ten years after racing 12 dogs in the station parking lot we can now say that ROTC has turned into a full-on major sporting spectacle. Nowhere will you see the athletic prowess that you will see on May 5."
Registration is open and available at www.hits96.com on a first-come, first-served basis. Spectators are encouraged to participate, for free, starting at 2 p.m. at the First Tennessee Pavilion, 1826 Reggie White Blvd. Music begins at 3 p.m. Racing begins, tentatively, at 6 p.m.
J-Si from the nationally syndicated "Kidd Kraddick Morning Show" will emcee the event and be a guest judge.