the vixen red.
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May
15
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30+ date spring solo tour, Kentucky, USA

30+ date spring solo tour, Kentucky, USA

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In 14th century nautical terms, the forecastle was the forward region of a merchant ship, often shaped and always protected like a castle. A captain perched on it could see for great distances, map out courses and foresee looming enemies. Inside it, the sailors ate, drank, slept and cavorted. The forecastle was the place where everyone came together.

In 21st century Louisville, Forecastle is a music, art and political exhibition over one summer day at Tyler Park. Forecastle showcases a multitude of local musicians, poets, visual artists and activists. This year’s festival — on Saturday from noon-10 p.m. — boasts the largest and most diverse lineup in its three-year history, with 20 bands on two stages, 27 local artists, and a handful of politically related organizations. After all, the business of an election year calls one to duty.

“I’ve made efforts to expand the show so that anyone coming down will find something of interest,” said JK McKnight, a Louisville musician who originated Forecastle in 2002. “I want more people to come and appreciate the solidarity of Louisville music and arts. I also want a diverse turnout.”

Last year, he estimates that Forecastle drew roughly 800 people over the course of the day.

To help facilitate variety, McKnight has focused more on politics this year, inviting representatives from both major parties, as well as Libertarian and Independent representatives, accommodating a voter registration drive, and hosting activist groups, including Earthsave and the local anti-war group Digital Peasant. The local Kerry/Edwards presidential delegation will be there. Tony Miller, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Anne Northup in Kentucky’s 3rd District this year, is expected to speak. A Northup campaign spokesperson told McKnight they might show up.

McKnight said he wants to play up the politics without turning Forecastle into an activist cliché.

“The last thing I want is this festival to be a tagged with liberal stereotypes,” he said.

The voter registration booth is new this year, an attempt, he said, at consolidated political participation without partisan pressure.

“It’s important to me that people understand they can make a difference in the world in a significant and meaningful way, and that one vote does matter,” he said. He hopes to sign up several hundred new voters through Forecastle.

By offering a trio of cultural mediums — the festival’s “Music.Art.Activism” moniker has sustained since the beginning — McKnight and company blur the defining lines of the festival. Visitors aren’t browbeaten by pseudo politicos raving about their causes; if they please, they can browse the art section, centered in the limestone tunnel that anchors the park. There they will find everything from found-object displays and large-scale sculpture installations to traditional photography and painting. There will also be a graffiti wall where artists will actually be painting plywood boards and drywall sheets all day.

“The art function is to (physically) connect the whole event,” said Mike Foster, who worked with McKnight to coordinate the art section. Foster also runs Digital Peasant.

If that’s not enough, spectators can mosey over to one of the two performance stages and catch some live music, Forecastle’s proverbial citadel. The line-up of music will feature everything from folk to electronica.

McKnight has worked to produce a comfortable blend of music, art and activism, by having a diverse line-up of the first two.

“I love the way the Louisville music and art scenes have grown and merged together in a cohesive and tangible way,” McKnight said. “It’s unique and vital to the lifeblood of the city.”

Though the festival may lack the allure of the open sea, Forecastle promises to provide a place where scenes and cultures converge and where the People — whomever they may be — can come together.

All shows are free and open to the public. Tyler Park is located near Baxter Avenue and Windsor Place in the Highlands. An official (and free) Forecastle after-party kicks off less than a half hour after the last show ends at American Turner’s Club (3125 River Road; 18 and over) featuring performances by locals Cabin and Instant Camera, among others.

For further information or if your organization is interested in being involved, contact JK McKnight at 387-3645 or thevixenred@yahoo.com.

BY STEPHEN GEORGE
leobeat@leoweekly.com

Music
West Stage

noon-12:45 p.m.: Valley
1:15-1:45 p.m.: JK McKnight
2:15-3 p.m.: Carolina
3:30-4:15 p.m.: Is What!!??
4:45-5:15 p.m.: Loretta
5:45-6:15 p.m.: Jamie Barns
6:45-7:30 p.m.: ARCH
8-8:45 p.m.: The Children
9:15-10 p.m.: Scaramongo

East Stage

12:45-1:15 p.m.: Bloom Street
1:45-2:15 p.m.: Pocketfox
3-3:30 p.m.: Animal Hospital
4:15-4:45 p.m.: Ron Whitehead and Sarah Elizabeth
5:15-5:45 p.m.: Erin and Drew Wilson
6:15-6:45 p.m.: Pinata Me (members of Second Story Man)
7:15-7:45 p.m.: L&N
8:15 p.m.: SKL/Nasty - Leo Weekly


http://www.leoweekly.com/archives/072303/photopage.shtml - LEO (Louisville Eccentric Observer)


Making assumptions about FORECASTLE 2004: Election Year Special, is easy.

Collect a bunch of bands, most of which are young and outside the mainstream, and pair them with a long list of artists. Toss in a bunch of nonprofit organizations. Stage an outdoor festival in the Highlands.

To most, that would spell liberal. Very liberal. But organizer JK McKnight has a larger vision, represented by the inclusion of presidential campaign workers for the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Independent and Green parties.

"The election is incredibly important; there are obvious crucial foreign and domestic policy issues at stake, but more important is the overall global climate, which is becoming increasingly negative and divided, in my opinion," McKnight said. "I want people down there in an open-forum setting, talking about the issues, registering to vote and leaving with an inspired sense of purpose and pride regarding their role in the American political process."

FORECASTLE was politically oriented in its first two years, but McKnight has significantly upped the ante. He hasn't ignored the festival's original intent, however, which is to give Louisville musicians and artists a day of "solidarity and equal expression," he said.

Around 25 bands and 25 artists will gather in Tyler Park tomorrow from noon to 10 p.m. Stages will be set up on both sides of the park, with artists exhibiting in the tunnel that links the two sides. The basketball court will be filled with activist organizations.

Band highlights include The Children, Valley, SKL, Scaramongo, Arch, Ron Whitehead and Sarah Elizabeth, Bloom Street and McKnight. Notable artists include Bart Herre, Jeff Gaither, Matt Weir and Shannon Stelzer.

McKnight is optimistic that the increasing importance of this year's presidential election will result in newly registered and highly informed voters by festival's end.

"I've always felt an obligation as a U.S. citizen to get people involved in the political process. It's important to me that people understand that their vote can make a difference."

Performers scheduled for the West Stage are Scaramongo, The Children, Arch, Jamie Barns, Lucky Guns, Loretta, Is What?, Carolina, McKnight and Valley. On the East Stage: SKL, Nasty Nate and Mischief, The Bzzzz Project, secret guest, L&N, Pinata Me, Whitehead and Elizabeth, Erin and Lauren Wilson, Animal Hospital, Pocketfoxx and Bloom Street. There will also be some poetry.

Jeffrey Lee Puckett is SCENE's pop music editor. - The Courier-Journal



by Stephen George

If there's one thing local singer-songwriter JK McKnight should be lauded for, it is for being prolific. In the past month he has released two E.P.s: one by his band, the assaulting Vixen Red, and another by himself, appropriately titled JK McKnight.

He's been on the road for weeks at a time, floating through the region in a beat-down '84 Volvo, its trunk and back seat stuffed with an elaborate stage set that consists of plastic flowers, vintage lamps with red bulbs and an area rug that accompanies him to every performance, both solo and with band. Not to mention the half-stack into which he hotwires his acoustic guitar and effects pedals.
Last Saturday he kicked off an unprecedented 15-night stand at Wildflowers Caf‚ in the Highlands that runs until May 29. Then he's off to the South for a few more shows, then the Midwest for some more, and then maybe he'll come home and do some work for a change.

McKnight may be something of an anomaly among the ranks of the "typical" indie rock singer-songwriter. First and foremost, his tunes are not self-conscious. His lyrics are most often confident and direct, and he doesn't waste time moping about being screwed over by a woman or, worse, screwing himself.

Secondly, his songs are surprisingly positive. His guitar playing is flurried and expeditious, constant and a little underexposed. He plays major chords, nothing too dissonant, his hands driving a beat through the strings. He's surreptitious on the guitar, and he'll remind you he's damn good every once in a while with surprising little solo parts.

Case in point: "Westward Bound," an upbeat and optimistic tale about a trip to the West with a loved one. Straightforward strumming with a few riffs here and there, and there's nothing catatonic or desperate in the lyrics, just the simple admission of excitement and gratification: And as we turn away/I see the sunlight high/bright now, and this experience we made/the acknowledgment of love, inside me, clouds beneath me. Lofty, yes, but in a much different sense.
For all the upbeat qualities of his solo record, he redeems the pissed-punk ethos on the Vixen Red's Sunrise and Nightfall in the Equestrian Sea, a truly angry scowl vaguely reminiscent of legendary fire-breathers Avail. The music (Joe Wheeler on bass, Justin Gordinas on drums) is crushing and huge - McKnight claims to have put more than 25 guitar tracks on a single tune. His lyrics are unapologetic and incendiary, riding as his voice jumps from a throaty, gravelly growl to a gentle, high-pitched whimper in a heartbeat.

McKnight is a perfectionist, and that quality shines on this record, full of quickly punched vocal lines and drifting guitar leads that noodle atop the thickness of distorted rhythm guitars, heavy bass and thunderous drums. The band (though most often McKnight) spent more than nine months at DSL Studios in Louisville recording the album. According to McKnight, his obsession over the record nearly prompted the sound engineer to quit.

If you're into things that don't really fit a mold, check this guy out. He'll be around.

JK McKnight and the Vixen Red's Sunrise and Nightfall in the Equestrian Sea are available at Better Days, ear X-tacy and through the Web sites www.jkmcknight.com and www.thevixenred.com.
Each of his performances at Highland Wildflowers Caf‚, 1559 Bardstown Road, starts at 9 p.m.

leo@leoweekly.com

Last changed: May 19. 2004 10:04AM


Return to the article list
Email this to a friend
- LEO (Louisville Eccentric Observer)


Making assumptions about FORECASTLE 2004: Election Year Special, is easy.

Collect a bunch of bands, most of which are young and outside the mainstream, and pair them with a long list of artists. Toss in a bunch of nonprofit organizations. Stage an outdoor festival in the Highlands.

To most, that would spell liberal. Very liberal. But organizer JK McKnight has a larger vision, represented by the inclusion of presidential campaign workers for the Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Independent and Green parties.

"The election is incredibly important; there are obvious crucial foreign and domestic policy issues at stake, but more important is the overall global climate, which is becoming increasingly negative and divided, in my opinion," McKnight said. "I want people down there in an open-forum setting, talking about the issues, registering to vote and leaving with an inspired sense of purpose and pride regarding their role in the American political process."

FORECASTLE was politically oriented in its first two years, but McKnight has significantly upped the ante. He hasn't ignored the festival's original intent, however, which is to give Louisville musicians and artists a day of "solidarity and equal expression," he said.

Around 25 bands and 25 artists will gather in Tyler Park tomorrow from noon to 10 p.m. Stages will be set up on both sides of the park, with artists exhibiting in the tunnel that links the two sides. The basketball court will be filled with activist organizations.

Band highlights include The Children, Valley, SKL, Scaramongo, Arch, Ron Whitehead and Sarah Elizabeth, Bloom Street and McKnight. Notable artists include Bart Herre, Jeff Gaither, Matt Weir and Shannon Stelzer.

McKnight is optimistic that the increasing importance of this year's presidential election will result in newly registered and highly informed voters by festival's end.

"I've always felt an obligation as a U.S. citizen to get people involved in the political process. It's important to me that people understand that their vote can make a difference."

Performers scheduled for the West Stage are Scaramongo, The Children, Arch, Jamie Barns, Lucky Guns, Loretta, Is What?, Carolina, McKnight and Valley. On the East Stage: SKL, Nasty Nate and Mischief, The Bzzzz Project, secret guest, L&N, Pinata Me, Whitehead and Elizabeth, Erin and Lauren Wilson, Animal Hospital, Pocketfoxx and Bloom Street. There will also be some poetry.

Jeffrey Lee Puckett is SCENE's pop music editor. - The Courier-Journal



by Stephen George

If there's one thing local singer-songwriter JK McKnight should be lauded for, it is for being prolific. In the past month he has released two E.P.s: one by his band, the assaulting Vixen Red, and another by himself, appropriately titled JK McKnight.

He's been on the road for weeks at a time, floating through the region in a beat-down '84 Volvo, its trunk and back seat stuffed with an elaborate stage set that consists of plastic flowers, vintage lamps with red bulbs and an area rug that accompanies him to every performance, both solo and with band. Not to mention the half-stack into which he hotwires his acoustic guitar and effects pedals.
Last Saturday he kicked off an unprecedented 15-night stand at Wildflowers Caf‚ in the Highlands that runs until May 29. Then he's off to the South for a few more shows, then the Midwest for some more, and then maybe he'll come home and do some work for a change.

McKnight may be something of an anomaly among the ranks of the "typical" indie rock singer-songwriter. First and foremost, his tunes are not self-conscious. His lyrics are most often confident and direct, and he doesn't waste time moping about being screwed over by a woman or, worse, screwing himself.

Secondly, his songs are surprisingly positive. His guitar playing is flurried and expeditious, constant and a little underexposed. He plays major chords, nothing too dissonant, his hands driving a beat through the strings. He's surreptitious on the guitar, and he'll remind you he's damn good every once in a while with surprising little solo parts.

Case in point: "Westward Bound," an upbeat and optimistic tale about a trip to the West with a loved one. Straightforward strumming with a few riffs here and there, and there's nothing catatonic or desperate in the lyrics, just the simple admission of excitement and gratification: And as we turn away/I see the sunlight high/bright now, and this experience we made/the acknowledgment of love, inside me, clouds beneath me. Lofty, yes, but in a much different sense.
For all the upbeat qualities of his solo record, he redeems the pissed-punk ethos on the Vixen Red's Sunrise and Nightfall in the Equestrian Sea, a truly angry scowl vaguely reminiscent of legendary fire-breathers Avail. The music (Joe Wheeler on bass, Justin Gordinas on drums) is crushing and huge - McKnight claims to have put more than 25 guitar tracks on a single tune. His lyrics are unapologetic and incendiary, riding as his voice jumps from a throaty, gravelly growl to a gentle, high-pitched whimper in a heartbeat.

McKnight is a perfectionist, and that quality shines on this record, full of quickly punched vocal lines and drifting guitar leads that noodle atop the thickness of distorted rhythm guitars, heavy bass and thunderous drums. The band (though most often McKnight) spent more than nine months at DSL Studios in Louisville recording the album. According to McKnight, his obsession over the record nearly prompted the sound engineer to quit.

If you're into things that don't really fit a mold, check this guy out. He'll be around.

JK McKnight and the Vixen Red's Sunrise and Nightfall in the Equestrian Sea are available at Better Days, ear X-tacy and through the Web sites www.jkmcknight.com and www.thevixenred.com.
Each of his performances at Highland Wildflowers Caf‚, 1559 Bardstown Road, starts at 9 p.m.

leo@leoweekly.com

Last changed: May 19. 2004 10:04AM


Return to the article list
Email this to a friend
- LEO (Louisville Eccentric Observer)


Discography

EP - "Sunrise and Nightfall in the Equastrian Sea"

Photos

Bio

The Vixen Red is a band and experience founded in April 2002 by singer/songwriter JK McKnight in Louisville, Kentucky. JK McKnight is currently on tour in support of the vixen red's debut EP: "Sunrise and Nightfall in the Equestrian Sea," as well as his solo debut: "JK McKnight," and would appreciate the opportunity to showcase at your event. For a complete, interactive experience of the vixen red and jk mcknight, visit the dual websites @ www.thevixenred.com

thanks ~ jkm