published Monday, August 13th, 2012

Get Off the Couch: Concert series not just about the music

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, have you ever seen or heard of a new concept and your first thought was "That's the dumbest idea ever?" Wait, before you answer, I just realized someone proposed this column idea at some point, so I'm sure you have. Anyway, I was going to add that after your original reaction, you thought, "Well, that could work."

LISA DENTON: Yeah, this column ranks pretty high in the "what were we thinking" category, but as I recall, people above our pay grade approved it.

Seems to me that several things I enjoy doing fall into that category. The World's Longest Yard Sale comes readily to mind — and that was a lot of fun, by the way. But I believe you're thinking of something that takes up a little less square mileage.

BARRY: Two words: Yellow Dubmarine. My first thought was ugh, a dubstep version of Beatles songs. My second thought was "What's for lunch?" I quickly resolved that and the ol' bean was put back to work thinking about Yellow Dubmarine.

It's actually the name of the group that will perform Saturday at Ross's Landing as part of Riverfront Nights. They do reggae versions of Beatles songs. On general principles, I like my Beatles music uncut, but the rasta vibe works.

LISA: Yah, mon. Maybe you could let your hair grow into dreadlocks for the occasion.

Riverfront Nights, in itself, is a little different as far as concert series go. It's not just about the music, although the bands are always top-shelf. It's also about "lifestyle choices," so there are always businesses and organizations on hand that promote causes like recycling or animal welfare.

This Saturday, for instance, is Tennessee-American Water Conservation Night. Gaining Ground, which promotes local food, also will be there, along with Wally's Friends, which provides low-cost sterilization for animals.

They bill it as "edu-tainment."

BARRY: I think if my hair gets any longer, my wife will be talking with the Wally's Friends folks.

It is a different kind of event, though it fits with how lots of different groups, organizations, businesses and people interact in our city these days. And it tries to showcase the cool things you can do outside and that help keep you healthy. Which, if I understood the great philosopher Snoop Dogg and his decision to change his name to Snoop Lion, is what the rasta lifestyle, which includes reggae music, is all about.

LISA: I think he might have had some herbal motivation, but if he's gonna drop it like it's hot, then maybe doing it Simba style might actually catch on.

BARRY: It should be irie, mon. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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