As anyone who survived the 48 Hour Film Project will admit, luck is a vital component of run-and-gun filmmaking. So when better to launch a filmmaking competition than Friday the 13th? The second annual Unlucky 13 contest kicks off this weekend, sending crews around the city to complete a horror short 13 minutes or less in 13 days. The winners will be broadcast on the UPN 30/Ch. 19 shock show Chiller Cinema, and awards will be announced at the upcoming Music City Horror Convention Oct. 9.
A full list of rules and an entry form can be found at www.chillercinema.com. The entry fee is $30, and each short must contain a common element to be announced Friday. Coincidentally, that's the same night as Chiller Cinema host Dr. Gangrene's horror show at Bongo Java After Hours, featuring live monsters and a screening of the 1971 cult item Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Thingsan early horror opus from Bob Clark, director of Porky's and A Christmas Story.
♦ For more homegrown horrors, the locally produced feature The Bell Witch Haunting arrives at Gallatin's Volunteer State College for a weekend of screenings starting Friday. Writer-director Ric White says the period thriller, based on historical record, has been trimmed by about 15 minutes since its sold-out premiere at the Belcourt in March, and it will be available soon on DVD. The movie screens 7:30 p.m. Friday, 4:45 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. To find out more, see www.thebellwitchhaunting.com or call 264-8999.
♦ Every Friday the 13th since 1998, Jeff Meltesen has published RR Magazine, a handmade zine devoted mainly to country music and its periphery in Nashville. Every time, the format changes: one folded out like an accordion, while the most recent issue came packaged as an album sleeve. He'll be selling his limited-edition printing of 50 zines at the RR release show, headlined by Meltesen's band D.Strikerwhich, like the zine, changes each time around. (This version contains members of Ole Mossy Face and The Carter Administration.)
Also appearing are The New Hardwood Legends, Lonnie Wayne Flemmer, and Hands Down Eugene, the new band from Matt Moody of the Lawrence, Kansas, band The Ants. The show's 9 p.m. at the Radio Café, and this being Friday the 13th, prepare for the unexpected. At the last RR show, someone accidentally got bonked hard enough to draw blood during the ritualistic defacing of a Glen Campbell effigy.
♦ You've got the bobblehead Moses. Now head down to Greer Stadium Friday night for the Nashville Sounds' latest Faith Night giveaway: your very own outdoorsman's Bible. From the press release: "Heart of the Outdoors, with its rugged camouflage cover, is designed especially for hunting and fishing enthusiasts. This NIV Bible features adventure stories and photos focusing on noted sportsmen who share how to read God's Word, how to pray and how Scripture has increased their love for the outdoors." Two words come to mind: Ted Nugent. The 4,000-copy giveaway is being sponsored by Spiritual Outdoor Adventures, a Nashville-based television ministry hosted by Jimmy Sites. Watch for upcoming Sounds promotions such as "Islam Night" and "Torah! Torah! Torah!"
♦ A fixture of Springwater's underground folk scene, as well as a gifted painter who chronicles the Nashville cityscape, Ann Tiley has issued dozens of self-made tapes of her original compositions. These range from topical pop songs to musical journal entries, amounting to an autobiography on cassette. Her output is so prolific that it's hard to know where to start, so we'll help: Tiley is the featured guest 1 p.m. Saturday on "The Living Room," hosted by Mike Westerfield on his cool listener-supported Internet radio station Sisyphus Tracks (http://stracks.org). She'll be playing live and talking for the full half-hour.
Sisyphus is new to me, but it's well worth checking out for anyone who's disenchanted with Nashville radio. Broadcast by Westerfield on PC from his Nolensville Road efficiency apartment, Sisyphus offers an Americana fan's dream playlist: everything from Townes Van Zandt and Allison Moorer to Lefty Frizzell and Lightnin' Hopkins, and all points in between. With Radio Free Nashville still preparing for its early-fall broadcast debut, this offers a good blueprint for Nashville community radio. Check it out.
♦ Micah Jones, the 23-year-old MTSU student and music-industry intern who was run down in July by a Metro police officer allegedly under the influence of alcohol, remains in a coma at a long-term health facility in her home state of Ohio. To help with her rapidly mounting medical expenses, friends and co-workers are organizing an all-star benefit for 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Mercy Lounge. Among the scheduled performers are Jamie O'Neal, Matraca Berg, Bering Strait, Steve Azar, Billy Currington, Hugh Prestwood, Aimee Mayo & Chris Lindsey, and Amy Dalley. Advance tickets are $15; donations may be made at any time to the Micah Jones Benefit Fund at any Amsouth Bank. For more information, contact Julie Daniel, Todd Wilkes or Angelia Van Vranken at Island Bound Music, (615) 320-5440.