published Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Communicators honor Independence Day with a concert celebrating ’Merica

IF YOU GO

What: The Communicators present: That ’90s Show, Red, White & Blue Edition.

When: 10 p.m. Friday, July 4.

Where: Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

Admission: $10.

Phone: 423-267-4644.

Website: www.rhythm-brews.com.

If there were a tag line to the Fourth of July-themed concert by local cover ninjas The Communicators, it would probably sound like it was plagiarized from the soundtrack of “Team America: World Police.”

Unfortunately, the lyrics to the film’s theme song are hugely inappropriate, so propriety dictates that they be paraphrased:

“America, [you’re great]! Freedom is the only way, yeah.”

Those who prefer less censorship with their music can hear The Communicators play the unedited song — whose title is also too risque for print — and about two dozen other covers Friday night, July 4, at Rhythm & Brews.

“It’ll be a lot of fun, John Cougar [Mellencamp] and Tom Petty kind of stuff,” says Jonathan Susman, one of the ensemble’s founding members and a drummer with local indie trio Glowing Bordis.

“There are so many different anthemic songs about America,” he adds. “There’s such a big catalog of those songs. It’s about the celebration of ‘Merica.”

Susman and his Glowing Bordis bandmates founded The Communicators about three years ago. Its rotating membership is drawn from local bands, and the group’s performances range from genre-themed shows to start-to-finish renditions of classic albums such as Beck’s “Odelay” and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.”

A good bit of Friday’s set will sample the group’s back catalog of pop, hip-hop and alt-rock favorites from the ’90s, Susman says. In keeping with Communicators tradition, the show also will feature guest appearances by opening act The Power Players Show Band, a local funk/rock band slated to open this week’s Nightfall concert earlier in the evening.

“They’ve done New Year’s with us for the last two years,” Susman says. “I can trust them, as musicians, to just show up and know what songs we’ll ask them to play on and that they’ll have their stuff together.

“They’re professionals and solid musicians, one of the tighter bands in this city.”

Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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