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Casey Phillips

Stories by Casey

Once you realize what it is, it’s not hard to see why Steve Dockery and Alan Darr want to bring a steampunk convention to Chattanooga.

Lindsey Tropf and her team at Immersed Games have set themselves a fairly monumental task — and it's not figuring out how mankind could survive on another planet or designing a balanced, extraterrestrial ecosystem.

For many years, “serendipity” has been on my short list of favorite words. It’s sandwiched somewhere between “verisimilitude” and “phantasmagoria” but a few rungs down from “ultramarine.”

It doesn’t take long after Tash Neal’s chunky distorted guitar kicks in on The London Souls’ self-titled 2011 album to realize the New York-based rockers aren’t just a band but the proud standard-bearers of an old-school tradition.

For those in Apple’s camp, the latest-generation of iPad (starting at $499) and iPad Mini (starting at $399) offer nearly identical specifications, but if size and weight are deciding factors, the Mini’s 7.9-inch display is more hand- and backpack-friendly.

Chattanooga long has touted itself as the Scenic City, but until a few weeks ago, those who visited via the Google Earth digital globe might have questioned the legitimacy of that claim.

Jonathan Susman is nothing if not a champion of Chattanooga’s musicians. A real local Lancelot.

Going into this year’s Road to Nightfall competition, Darren Self didn’t like the chances for his band, Function.

Bobby Bare Jr. can drop names with the best of them. As a matter of fact, he probably knows the best of them.

Some painters approach their work with a degree of strategy normally associated with epic bank heists.

A man's home might be his castle, but for decades he's largely been forced to rely on someone else to defend it.

Chattanooga, I'm ashamed of myself.

When Chris Carpenter discusses the circumstances that led him to join the swollen ranks of Nashville's career singers/songwriters in 2009, his mind has a tendency to orbit questions enthusiastically before answering them.

"Songbird" is a word bandied about a lot to describe vocalists, but in the case of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, it's too apt to avoid.

Staying technologically current in America is a bit like hopping on the world's slowest merry-go-round.

This week, I must profess my love for Mark Twain.

When it comes to finding members for your band, being able to recruit from your classmates at a musical conservatory is a bit like mining for diamonds at Tiffany & Co.

Despite a long-standing reputation as havens for peace and quiet, libraries are starting to recognize that surviving in the digital age means blowing up a convention or two.

Board games are fun. At least, that's the idea.

Decades worth of research into the physiological benefits of running say it's a boon to cardiovascular health. And the prevailing opinion all along has been that the more miles logged, the healthier the runner.

From Festivus and bubble boys to man hands and Soup Nazis, “Seinfeld” was a veritable catchphrase-generating machine during its dominance of prime time in the 1990s.

As you know, tomorrow is Independence Day, and nothing says “Fourth of July” like sitting in traffic for hours to get to a crowded beach where you’ll develop a wicked sunburn and deposit sands in places it was never meant to be.

Even accounting for the lingering haze and aroma of gunpowder, fireworks are, by nature, a pretty fleeting amusement.

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.”

Have you ever dreamed of putting on an outdoor music festival?

Some blues musicians learn to love the blues because they grew up with it. Others come to it later in life on emotionally scraped knees and with thoroughly wounded hearts.

Before she's cleared the first of dozens of acrobatic leaps to a persistent dubstep wobble bass, it's crystal clear that Lindsey Stirling is nobody's image of the stereotypical violinist.

In 1949, George Orwell’s novel “1984” predicted a future society that was under constant government surveillance and engaged in a never-ending war. But

Thanks largely to TV programs that show people weaponizing their vehicles and stockpiling food in amounts that would make a Costco warehouse groan in protest, there are many unflattering preconceptions about disaster preparedness.

So how was it, Chattanooga? Was this Riverbend one for the books or one you'd rather forget?

Riverbend organizers say the June 8 headlining performance by Georgia jam rockers Widespread Panic set a festival record for one-day wristband sales.

Riverbend organizers say the June 8 headlining performance by Georgia jam rockers Widespread Panic set a festival record for one-day wristband sales.

There's very little that's pretty about dirt track racing.

In the months leading up to opening night, Riverbend organizers make the loudest noise promoting the Coke Stage headliners, but to draw crowds to the side stages, bands often must pull themselves up by their guitar straps.

If there's one thing I was really pleased to see Riverbend officials put into effect last year, it was booking a solid block of electronic dance music at the Unum Stage.

Sometimes, being the best-kept secret is a good thing, but after almost a decade of presenting under-attended, free extracurricular programming, Riverbend organizers say they wouldn’t turn down some time in the spotlight.

Maybe it's because it seems so rock 'n' roll — and they like it — but Riverbenders clearly enjoy breaking the rules. Well, one of them, at least.

If you're studied up on your musical history, this recommendation is pretty much a no-brainer.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Rolling Stone and Spin both think you should be paying attention to the stage at Miller Plaza Friday night, June 13.

With the festival grounds still coming up for air after being clothes-lined by a brutal line of thunderstorms earlier in the afternoon, vocalist Chris Gomez was reminded of one fundamental truth about being a musician:

Tonight is one of those rare Riverbend evenings when the scheduling stars have aligned up -- just so -- to bring top-notch artists to practically every stage.

As they made their way down M.L. King Boulevard last night, attendees to this year's Bessie Smith Strut might have been looking forward, but there were many minds firmly fixed on the past.

Sift through reviews of TobyMac's concerts, and you're likely to walk away with a significantly altered vocabulary for describing Christian music:

After more than 50 years behind the mike and a dozen Blues Music Awards to his name, Bobby Rush has earned the right to brag a bit.

If you'd seen them six or seven years ago, eccentric North Carolinian band Bombadil would have knocked you for a loop with an infectiously raucous approach to folk-pop that saw them catapulting off the stage and brandishing so many exotic instruments you'd be forgiven for thinking they'd raided a World Market before sound check.

About a year ago, Paul Hadfield and The McCoys was basically unknown on the Chattanooga club scene.

After interviewing Annie Sellick before a gig in February at Barking Legs Theater, I was left with the impression that she is the rare musical gem who sings for all the right reasons, not money or fame but the sheer joy of performance.

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