Hudson K frontwoman Christina Horne didn’t want her April 25 gig at Scruffy City Hall to be just another rock show.
Or at least, not the kind of rock show people are used to seeing, circa 2014. What she wanted instead was something that might have sprung from another, more colorful era, when musicians from myriad genres performed under the same marquee, alongside dancers, poets, painters, artists of every stripe.
“There were a combination of things that happened,” Horne explains. “We played the Rikki Hall tribute [at Scruffy City Hall] in March, along with Tim and Susan Lee and several others. Tim gave me a book that Patti Smith put out, where she talks a lot about New York in the 1960s and 1970s. And she talked about how it wasn’t until later that they realized there was a ‘scene’ going on.
“And I related that to Knoxville. We have a scene, too. So the idea was to pull everyone together for a multi-media sort of experience. We have a lot of friends who are very talented at what they do.”
So much like the days of yore when the Velvet Underground rocked Andy Warhol’s Factory, and venerable jazzers and bluesmen shared triple bills with hippie rockers, Horne’s April 25 Evening of Art Pop will include a host of diverse rockers, a handful of rappers, plus dancers, poets, and visual artists performing, collaborating, and exhibiting their wares.
Local dancers Teejei Brigham and Claire Metz will perform with Horne throughout the evening—first during a solo piano set from Horne, and later during her Hudson K set, with drummer Nate Barrett.
Metz’ mesmerizing interpretive dance has been a regular feature of more recent Hudson K shows. Horne says their collaboration began a couple of years back, when Metz asked the band to perform at a larger production she was putting together. “We got to know each other, and we kind of let that relationship develop over the last few years,” she says.
“We had also worked with Circle Modern Dance in the past, and seeing dancers work with live musicians has always been really inspiring for me.”
Other performers at the Evening of Art Pop include the aforementioned Tim and Susan Lee with the Tim Lee 3; local poet/rappers J-Bush and Courageous, both of The Theorizt; singer/songwriter Danimal from Chattanooga; and the Atlanta, Ga. band Sonen, which Horne describes as “a very danceable art/pop electronic band.”
“They [Sonen] have a keytar player, just like myself,” Horne laughs. “She’s the only other keytar player I’ve run into.”
Horne hopes the Art Pop show will set the stage, so to speak, for other collaborative multi-media performances. And so far, she says the word-of-mouth has been good. “People are telling us that they’re really excited,” she says. “If people really like it, we’ll do it again.
“It’s really like a variety show, except I don’t want to use the word ‘variety.’ What we’re going for is artful, but not cheesy.”