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A Cosmic Ride with the Lords of Rap PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Damion Huntoon   
Saturday, 25 October 2014 12:47

Knoxville’s HypenKrünk plays silly and psyche to blaze a fan base around the world.


HypnenKrünk’s vocalist/rapper MC RealTree (né David Dalton) is hard to get a read on. His comments run between a modest fervor to diluted sarcasm, almost instantaneously. With one statement his point is concentrated and earnest, one second later he’s sly with ironic gesture. Or is he? One can’t be quite sure where his true intent lies, although it’s mixture makes a sort of twisted sense. Dalton admits this parlance grows from his own outlook.

“I think that’s just sort of my own approach to life, is a little silly,” said Dalton.

“Like anyone else, I engage in serious matters and have serious things happen, but I have a light hearted approach to some things, and that’s in order to keep myself getting real Emo.” he says with a slight cocked smile. “I don’t want to get real, real “Emo,” it’s not fun for anybody.”


This weirdly focused yet tongue-in-cheek conversation is somewhat symbolic of HypenKrünk’s amorphous musical palette. Sonically backed by the electronic beats of DJ Fuq Yoo Infinity (Arrison Kirby), the synth work of Nasty N8 (Nathan Brown) and the guitar and keyboards of D Mobile (Dustin Milotte), the group forges its sound from such far flung influences as hip-hop, psychedelic and progressive rock, reggae, R&B, EDM and early 90s industrial.

Originally, Kirby and Dalton had worked with ongoing hip-hop projects since the late 1990s. In 2007, the duo of Kirby and Brown began making music after the demise of their previous band, Obadiah. With a mass of prewritten material from both offshoots, the trio formed and played a preemptive show for a “Gemini Party” at Pilot Light in the early summer of 2012. Milotte’s arrival came soon after when the group opened up spots for other performers to fill the ranks due to a spontaneous obligation.

“I had done this six months earlier, just booked a show in New Orleans, without a band even,” said Kirby. “Dustin was one of the people who said, “yeah, I’ll be part of that.”

With the arrival of Milotte, the band began work on their first album, released in February 2014 on Kirby’s record label, “El Deth,” “Lords of Rap, Volume 1: Just The Tip.” As the title suggests, “Volume 1,” runs through some of Dalton’s highly sexual lyrical topics; the sonic nebulous of “Clitmatist,” and the raunchy, red-neck send up of “Biscuits & Davey.” Despite the humor and ironic wordplay throughout the album, Dalton also confronts the struggle between man and nature (Armaghetto), relationships with evil forces (“The Devil’s Geometrics”) and mankind’s daily life within society’s runaway consumerism (“See-Through System.) Throughout, “Volume 1” plays between a duality of analysis and jest.

“That’s what I love about hip-hop, its clever and mathematical,” said Dalton. “For me it’s like a holistic use of my brain, left and right; as a form of expression it is both logical and emotional”

Despite Dalton’s alliances, stylistically, Kirby is hesitant to apply hip-hop’s label musically, or performance wise, to HypenKrünk’s overall appeal.

“I mean it’s rap, but is the total of it “hip-hop? I don’t know,” said Kirby. “One of things that sets us apart from rap is that it’s not karaoke, we’re playing live instruments, there’s room for error from anyone of us, but that also adds to the improvisational places we can go with it.”

Whatever they might agree to call it, HyperKrünk has been busy making it. Releasing YouTube videos for “Biscuits & Davey,” in May, and the recent follow up, “Clitmatist,” in October, they also have begun work on the next installment of the trilogy; “Lords of Rap, Volume 2: Getting The Shaft.”

They have also been busy pushing the music to an audience. With regular local rotation on UT’s 90.3, the Internet has found HypenKrünk some fertile ground as well.

“We’ve got good responses from Turkey,” said Kirby. “There’s a French radio station that put three songs in rotation.”

With both album and video getting such widespread exposure and positive responses from such faraway lands, will HypenKrünk be OK if fame suddenly comes calling?

“I wouldn’t care to sell out,” said Dalton. “Man, if I could meet Taylor Swift, that’d be real cool. Big fan.”


Catch HypenKrünk’s “Clitmatist” video release show, Saturday Oct 25th at Pilot Light at 10 p.m. or at The Concourse, Friday Nov 7th at 9 p.m. with Lord T & Eloise, Dopplegansta, and Tom Ato.

An Interview with Mark Hill of The Floozies PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jordan Knight   
Thursday, 23 October 2014 21:39

Mark Hill (on left)

“Playing Red Rocks in front of no one, with bands you hate, would still be fun.”


One of the best things about music is its constant evolution. It is becoming harder and harder to fit bands into a mold, to “properly label” them. The Floozies have torn the concept of molds to shreds. They continually outperform and blow away all others in the world of electronic dance. But then there is the funk side of their music. Their roots are strongly grounded in that smooth, booty shaking, sweaty packed dance floor, can’t stop smiling because it feels so good, sound. When brothers Matt and Mark Hill set out to make you move, you will move. Recently we caught up with drummer Mark Hill to discuss bucket list, elementary school talent shows and urophagia.

Recently The Floozies took to social media to celebrate their tour, Wakarusa and Red Rocks as they pertained to an ever growing bucket list. “It is nothing we discuss thoroughly. I wanted to play Red Rocks. I always wanted to tour Europe. That, for me, is one of the next goals, to get out to Europe, because I’ve never been. In the past, any time I want to go somewhere, I would just wait until we played there, so the plan is to wait to go to Europe until we get to tour there. That’s next on the list. We want to headline Red Rocks in the next couple of years and I think that is totally feasible. The bucket list, it grows as I find more places I want to be, and of course, it is the key to what we’re doing.”

This month The Floozies joined Big Gigantic among others at Red Rocks as part of Big G’s Rowdy Town 3, the third installment of an utterly insane party thrown annually in Colorado. “It was incredible. It was almost unreal. Just being back there….It’s an historic place. Big G is really cool and they’re super nice guys. And to do it at the prettiest venue in the country is unreal. I found myself just laughing on stage, because I was looking out at the most beautiful crowd and beautiful rocks. I was just laughing to myself; I can’t believe I’m here. Then I went through the tunnel of legends which is this tunnel that leads from back stage to the sound board. All of these artists have signed it, like The Doors, and I got to sign my name on the same tunnel as the greatest musicians to ever walk the earth. Needless to say, it was fun. And we were working with some of my favorite people. Playing Red Rocks in front of no one, with bands you hate, would still be fun. The sound is great and it’s beautiful. To get that experience, combined with being with a bunch of my friends and a bunch of people I look up to, is pretty rad.“

Alive After Five 2014 Fall Series Schedule PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 21:01

October 17 – Robinella

$10 General Admission · $5 with Membership or student ID · Free for ages 17 and under

Robinella is the name of the band led by Robin Ella Bailey and features Taylor Coker on bass, Mike Seal on guitar, Nolan Nevels on drums, Justin Haynes on keyboards, and Jamel Mitchell on saxophone. Raised in a very musical family  in Blount County, Robin Ella’s early influences were Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and others. Later, while in college, she was discovered the song stylings of Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, and she has been a genre-defying singer ever since. Her silky and expressive voice glides from country and Americana to swing to blues and jazz with ease, and her band has the chops to make it flow seamlessly.

Food available from Stir Fry Café


October 24 – Jenna & Her Cool Friends

$10 General Admission · $5 with Membership or student ID · Free for ages 17 and under

Led by charismatic vocalist, Jenna Jefferson, this terrifically talented 7-member band has had a great year so far. They’ve been voted Knoxville’s Best Blues Band in the Metro Pulse Readers’ Poll, recorded their first CD, opened for B. B. King in the Tennessee Theatre, and won the Smoky Mountain Blues Challenge, which means they’re off to Memphis in January to compete in the International Blues Challenge.

Food available from Qdoba Mexican Grill


October 31 – Costume Partywith Boys’ Night Out


$15 General Admission · $10 with Membership or student ID · Free for ages 17 and under


It’s a Halloween Friday, and we’re looking forward to throwing another costume party with the Carolina beach music of Boys’ Night Out, one of the all-time favorites at AA5. This eleven-member band celebrated their 30th year anniversary this summer, and they are still going strong. So whether you don a costume or come as you are, a good time is going to be had by one and all!

Food available from Pleasantries Cakes & Catering


November 7 – Steve Brown “Threnody” CD Release Party


$10 General Admission · $5 with Membership or student ID · Free for ages 17 and under


Steve Brown is probably better known as the drummer for the Hector Qirko Band and Dor L’Dor, but he is also quite an accomplished composer. He debuted his critically acclaimed first CD, “Within,” at AA5 in 2010. His second CD, “Threnody,” includes a song for Martin Luther King, Jr., a song in memory of two of Knoxville’s beloved musicians, Bill Scarlett and Rocky Wynder. and other tunes that explore a mix of sounds, including  jazz, klezmer,  latin,  and other influences from world music.  Joining Steve will be Joe Thompson and Greg Tardy on saxophones and clarinet, Mark Boling on guitar, Bill Swann on piano, Rusty Holloway on bass, and David Knight on percussion.

Food available from The Viet Grill



November 21 – “Tribute to Donny Hathaway” featuring Donald Brown with Evelyn Jack


$10 General Admission · $5 with Membership or student ID · Free for ages 17 and under


Donald Brown is Knoxville’s preeminent jazz musician, and he is also a marvelous rhythm & blues performer and a great admirer of Grammy-winning jazz, blues, soul, and gospel singer, musician and songwriter Donny Hathaway whose career ended tragically at an early age. Joining him in this “Tribute” is vocalist Evelyn Jack, and they are backed by a fabulous group of musicians, including Donald’s son Keith Brown on keyboards, Vance Thompson on trumpet, Jamel Mitchell on saxophone, Glyn Loyd on bass, and Jared White on drums.

Food available from F.A.T.S BBQ



December 12 – Holiday Dance Partywith The Streamliners Swing Orchestra

(Extended hours: 6:00-9:30 pm) and The Kayley Farmer Project


$15 General Admission · $10 with Membership or student ID · Free for ages 17 and under


The fall series concludes with Knoxville’s fabulous 17-member Streamliners Swing Orchestra. You can dance off those extra holiday pounds as they play the classic big band music of Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee, with a little  Louis Jordan and Louis Prima mixed in for extra fun! Opening the show will be Streamliners vocalist Kayley Farmer and her smaller Project who will get the evening started off in a festive spirit as they perform a variety of holiday favorites.

Food available from The Tootsie Truck/Savor Catering

Old Crow Medicine Show at Tennessee Theatre for Two Nights in December PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 15 October 2014 20:44

Old Crow Medicine Show are currently on tour in support of their new album Remedy, which was recently released via ATO Records.  The band will be performing two nights at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, TN on December 11th & 12th.  Doors open at 7 PM and showtime is 8PM.

Remedy's July 1st release, marked the band's highest debut on the Billboard Top 200 (#15) in the band's 16 year career.  
The new song "Sweet Amarillo” a collaboration with Bob Dylan has been a hot topic of interest for press, and the video for the song premiered worldwide via CMT during release week.  Click
HERE to view.

The press has unanimously embraced RemedyNPR Music premiered the album via First Listen followed by an in depth interview for NPR’s Morning Edition.  (Click HERE to listen.)  The album has also received coverage in the form of positive reviews and features via Garden & Gun, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Esquire, Country Weekly,, Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Onion AV Club, Relix and Paste. With fans, ranging from hipsters to college students to music purists young and old, Old Crow Medicine Show continue to bring traditional string band music into the modern era.

Old Crow Medicine Show's story is truly one of building a career from the ground up.  While busking in the North Carolina town of Boone, they were discovered by folk icon Doc Watson.  Since then the band has toured the world, received mass critical praise, and sold over 800,000 albums.  The band’s single “Wagon Wheel” received the 
RIAA’s platinum certification for selling over one million copies, and they were recently asked to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry.  The band was also a part of the Big Easy Express tour and documentary along with Mumford & Sons and  Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.  They were awarded a Grammy for "Best Long Form Music Video" for their part in the film.

An Interview with Josh Carter of Phantogram PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jordan Knight   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 21:37

Autumn is upon us and already there is a sense of slowing. The increasingly, albeit slowly, shortening days are filled with a crispness still, colored by a lingering taste of summer’s stunning heat. A change is coming sonically to what we crave musically and Phantogram’s “You are the Ocean,” sums so perfectly the moodiness that the seasons bring. “In the fall I get lonely/In the winter I'm still lonely/Come the knives of the springtime/In the summer, I go crazy” (“You are the Ocean” – Phantogram). 2014’s “Voices” has flooded the airwaves and traversed its way across the globe and is paramount to almost all other music released this year. Recently, we caught up with Josh Carter to talk about the birth of a song, things to remember on the road and Bill Murray’s underwater adventures.

While working on “Eyelid Movies,” Josh and bandmate Sarah Barthel would jam over a drum track, sometimes for hours, waiting on the magic to come together in the form of a song. What followed were rave reviews and a mass hysteria over their inventive and incendiary sound that propelled the band into the international spotlight. In recent years, the duo added a multi-instrumentalist and a drummer, taking their already explosive live shows to, simply put ahhh-mazing. “Voices” brought a change to that process. “Generally that’s how our first album worked. We would jam over a beat. A lot of that happened in the making of “Voices,” but it is different every time. We traded off a lot of the time. I would start working on a beat or I’d start writing a song, and if I got stuck, I’d hand it off to Sarah. It was almost like an exquisite corpse. It wasn’t a total surprise what the other person was going to come up with. It was a way of sharing in that sense. We were also thinking that we wanted more players live, so I thought about who is going to play on this record and who do we have to hire to play synths and samplers and guitar. Right now, we’re really happy with our line-up. It’s a bit more freeing to have more people on the stage balancing out the sound.”

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