Downtown Dirt by Manhole: Knoxville Film and Music Fest at Scruffy City Hall!

10322435_10203247097932019_483185929846834761_nIt’s getting hot in here, Jake, and I mean that in all good ways. With June full upon us, we are a-sizzle with the news that Knoxville Film and Music Festival 2014 will take as its base of operations our most favorite local pagan/Viking future brew-pub and music/movie venue, Scruffy City Hall.

So what follows is an overview of events for KFMF v. 2014. Because there is so much going on, and so much that you do not want to miss.

Things kick off on Thursday, June 5 with something called Squaroo, a sort of unofficial Bonnaroo launching party (“Please do not sue us, Mr. Capps; we are but a pauper-ly pagan concert hall, and we truly mean no harm.”) The night starts early at Preservation Pub, with Crab Apple Lane, the Biscuitheads, Roots of a Rebellion, Tree Tops and Maps Need Reading taking the Pub stage at 8 p.m. And there is more goodness to follow, with a Scruffy City Hall roster of Lines Taking Shape, King Ador, Copper Into Steel, and Masseuse, commencing at 10 p.m.

There’s plenty of other music happening over the course of KFMF’s June 5-15 run, of course, but it is imperative that you be made aware of two events in particular. On Friday, June 6—and yes, that’s a First Friday; because everything always happens at @#$ once—Scruffy City Hall will proudly host a performance by honky-tonk/rockabilly prankster Unknown Hinson.

You may recognize Unknown Hinson—aka Stuart Baker—as the voice of Early Cuyler, on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim series “Squidbillies.” But the self-proclaimed King of Country-Western Troubadors is also a busy touring musician. And though there is a good deal of richly-seasoned cornpone in Hinson’s act—he proclaims loudly and often his love of “likker, sexy womerns, and fine git-tars”—he is also an accomplished (read: “kick-ass”) singer-guitarist, and a showman of the first order.

And on Saturday June 7, of course, Scruffy City Hall will feature the finals of this year’s Pres Pub/SCH Band Eat Band contest, with The Crumbsnatchers, The Theorizt, Dixieghost, Far Far Away, and Marina Orchestra. If you can only make it out to one local show in K-town all year, then this is the night you’ve been waiting for. If I cannot get you excited about the line-up for this year’s B.E.B. final, then go your way; we are done. There is no help for you, nor your lesioned soul.

And now for the part that really has my shorts in a bundle—the movie sked for KFMF. Because I loves me a good flick, Jake. And this year’s festival is full of undiscovered cinematic gems, the films folks will be buzzing about, on hipster blogs and in movie mags, just a few months hence.

A couple of the festival’s feature pics are homegrown efforts: There’s the June 8 showing of Voyage (see accompanying feature), a documentary about a modern-day Huck Finn-style river jaunt from Knoxville to the Gulf of Mexico; and the June 9 roll-out of Blackout: On Swan Pond, long-time local filmmaker Scott Colthorpe’s doc/expose chronicling the wretched aftermath of the disastrous 2008 TVA ash spill over in Kingston, Tenn., with panel discussion to follow.

Then there are a couple of extra-stellar efforts from out-of-towners, including June 12’s premiere of Papaya: Make Some Noise!, about the world-class club/party/DJ/EDM scene that arose, grassroots-style, from nothing on Pag, a once-barren island off the coast of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. And remember the cult-classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot? Well, HMPL filmmaker Jeff Krulik is back with a new feature, Led Zeppelin Played Here, a sort of rock ‘n’ roll mystery/documentary that attempts to uncover the truth behind a local legend that one of the biggest bands in Rawk history played one of its earliest gigs at a tiny Maryland community center.

And I haven’t even mentioned a best-of showing from the annual Knoxville 24-hour Film Festival (June 6); or the June 14 guest appearance of several of the story and animation crew from Comedy Central’s South Park animated series, with a special screening of the series’ “Black Friday” trilogy. See for a full schedule.

That is quite enough for now. But come back here in just one short week, for more news of events from the Fest. And don’t be late, lest you miss something important.

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