downtown dirt by manhole: February

The bowl games are over, the holiday hangovers have finally subsided and most of the Resolutions have been broken, sacrificed to the Gods of Sloth and Indolence on the Altar of Broken Dreams. IOW, it’s February, Jake — the frigid heart of the winter doldrums, and the shortest month of the year.

But they say good things come in small packages, and at least in this instance, that old saw is true. The February calendar at Preservation Pub/Scruffy City Hall offers up more value for your entertainment dollar than any sane and caring liberal society should rightfully allow. Who knew it was possible to cram so many musical goodies into the space of a mere 28 days?

Some of the deets are forthcoming in the rest of this issue of Scruffington Post — see our fine features on local indie rockers Meob and Gamenight, both of whom will grace the stage of Scruffy City Hall on Feb. 11. But if that alone isn’t enough to set your hearts a-thumping, know then that the Crumbsnatchers will play the same night, plying their loopy, frenetic brand of pogoing pop-rock on the stage of Preservation Pub.

Makes for a bit of a quandary, I suppose, but keep in mind that on most nights, your door charge is good for entrance to both clubs. Meaning that you can easily bounce between venues, drinking in some tuneful Gamenight goodness before flitting over to watch mop-topped Crumbsnatchers frontman “Guetts” Guetterman storm the Pub stage like some crazed Muppet hopped up on Peruvian Marching Powder.

One of the newest and hottest stars on the Knoxville music scene, classically-trained chanteuse Yasameen Hoffman-Shahin will take the stage in Scruffy City Hall twice this month. The first time will be Feb. 10, when she appears alongside longtime local keyboard and piano ace Ben Maney, whom you may recognize from — and this is only a rough estimate, Jake — around one billion popular local blues, jazz and rock acts from the past 20 years or so.

Then on Feb. 18, Yasameen and the rest of Electric Darling will share the bill with the Burnin’ Hermans. Also featuring guitar ace (and former Dirty Guv’nah) Cozmo Holloway and bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hyfantiss, Electric Darling is on a fast track to rate as arguably the city’s best rock ‘n’ roll act, so it’s best you catch them now, before they move into bigger paydays at larger venues.

And speaking of good things in small packages, Feb. 19 will see the Pub host West Virginia two-piece outfit Blackwater Mojo, a wicked little husband-wife duo who ably mix Delta Blues rhythms with traditional mountain and string-band sensibilities, making for a heady musical brew redolent of smoke and sin and sex.

And it’s been far too long since Bristol-area folk/string band Annabelle’s Curse have graced a Scruffy City stage, but the drought ends come Feb. 24, when the aforementioned five-piece will appear at the Pub, led by the nightingale-sweet vocals of singer Carly Booher, and girded by the sterling musicianship of guitarist/banjoist Tim Kilbourne and his equally talented mates.

Understand that these are just a few of many February highlights; we haven’t even mentioned the likes of jam-rockers Mister F and Earphorik (Feb. 13 at the Pub) or beer-sotted outlaw country hipsters Mike and the Moonpies (Feb. 16 at the Pub) or progressive folk and bluegrass artists the Fireside Collective (Feb. 24 at Scruffy City Hall.) Or the Knoscars, Knoxville’s very own Oscars party, Feb. 26 at Scruffy City Hall. The rest is up to you to figure out your own damned selves. So get off your collective asses, and we’ll see you here in a couple weeks.

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