Friday, March 27, 2015

Jim Jarmusch's Band SQURL Is Playing March 31 at Third Man Records

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 2:52 PM

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Are you aware that SQURL (commonly styled as SQÜRL, but we're going to skip the umlaut for the time being) is playing Third Man Records on Tuesday? All right, let's back up a step or two. Are you aware that American auteur Jim Jarmusch — known for writing and directing such films as Broken Flowers, Stranger Than Paradise and the delightful Dead Man — has a band with collaborators Carter Logan and Jozef Van Wissemby, and they call themselves SQURL?

Jarmusch — who has always looked to me a bit like a cross between Nick Cave and David Byrne, incidentally — has flirted heavily with music throughout his career: He composed the music for Paradise and his film Coffee and Cigarettes, he directed Neil Young's tour doc Year of the Horse, and he's shot several music videos. But SQURL is a relatively recent development. The outfit bills itself as "an enthusiastically marginal rock band from New York City who like big drums and broken guitars, cassette recorders, loops, feedback, sad country songs, molten stoner core, chopped-and-screwed hip-hop and imaginary movie scores." SQURL has released a trio of EPs, plus the official soundtrack for Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, and most of the band's output is droning, heavy but melodic, peppered with samples and, naturally, darkly evocative in the way you might expect (or at least hope) music made by a gifted filmmaker to be. As a matter of fact, some of the sounds bring the aforementioned Cave and his Bad Seeds to mind. Stream several SQURL tracks after the jump.

SQURL will play a recently announced set at Jack White's Third Man Records on Tuesday, March 31. Makes sense — The White Stripes appeared in Coffee and Cigarettes, Jarmusch directed The Raconteurs' "Steady as She Goes" video, and The Greenhornes' killer collaboration with Holly Golightly, "There Is an End," was featured in Broken Flowers. Tickets are available for $8 a pop via TMR's site.

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Lunchtime Poll: What Song Would Make the Best Diaper Commercial Soundtrack?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 1:25 PM

DAMN YOU, BABIES. Thanks to some dumb diaper commercial that popped up while I was trying to catch up on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (shuddup), I've had Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" stuck in my head for the past week. I doubt poo-filled diapers is what Ms. Trainor had in mind when she and her co-songwriters penned the pseudo-body-appreciation anthem. But there it was, playing on as the little cherubs danced around wiggling their probably poo-covered butts. You've made it, Meghan! Congratulations!

Trainor's isn't the first song to be embarrassingly abused by commercialism. Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There It Is)" also appeared in a disturbing ad a few years ago — the chorus was rewritten as "Poop there it is!" and it played while cartoon babies competitively shit themselves. That's disgusting, Luvs.

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What We're Listening To: Currently Spinning on the Cream's Turntables and Playlists

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 12:57 PM

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Every so often, your humble Scene music scribes like to let you in on the songs and albums (and cassettes, and MP3s, and streams) that we're listening to on our own time. It's a great way for us all to stay connected to what's happening beyond the week or two on either side of us. That's especially true right now, with a sudden flood of great new music from all corners — especially in hip-hop, with Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt and Drake's recent releases, plus the ol' boob tube's outstanding contributions via the show Empire. There are old favorites, new-to-us favorites, a new Chic track (!), and even some rather good metal whose truth (or falsehood) is ripe for debate.

Read on after the jump to see what your dedicated staffers and freelancers have been spinning lately. What's blowing up your stereo right now? Tell us in the comments!

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Weekend Round-up: Tarantino Style

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 7:54 AM

Happy Friday, Creamsters! Do you know what day it is? I double-dog dare you to say "what," because it's Quentin Tarantino's 51st birthday. The auteur writer/director/producer helped raise exploitation to an art form, spinning schlocky, over-the-top characters and situations into some of the most iconic moments in the last two-and-a-half decades of cinema. Inspired music choices are one of his hallmarks, whether they breathe new life into songs that had become cultural background noise or highlight more obscure tunes that deserve attention. And if you didn't know: Tarantino was born in Knoxville.

How about some shows? Tin Pan South continues through Saturday night, and we've got the full schedule (official layout is here). If that's not your thing, tonight you've got Dr. Dog at the Ryman; BACHanalia at Christ Church Cathedral; Kenny Chesney at Bridgestone, Ledisi at Marathon Music Works; Asleep at the Wheel at the Country Music Hall of Fame (have you read our cover story on the new Dylan/Cash exhibit yet?); Matthew Shipp and Michael Bisio at VFW Post 1970; Faux Ferocious at The Stone Fox; Whitey Morgan and the '78s at Exit/In; and more. Saturday, you've got: Bob Seger at Bridgestone; Timbre's album release at Trevecca; KDSML Revue at Exit/In; GED Soul Revue at Acme Feed & Seed; the Nashville Cats and many special guests at the CMHoF; DJ Mel guesting at The Boom Bap at The 5 Spot; and more.

Looking into next week, Sylvan Esso plays a sold-out Cannery Ballroom on Wednesday. Take a look at the rest after the jump, and remember that you possess an instinct for self-preservation this weekend.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

There's a Kickstarter for an Unfinished R. Stevie Moore Doc

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 3:02 PM

Considering the much-belated breakthrough success of Daniel Johnston via 2005’s must-see The Devil and Daniel Johnston doc — and the instant cult-hero-status upgrade enjoyed by bands like Rodriguez and Death due to the respective and heartwarming rock docs Waiting for Sugarman and A Band Called Death — there's isn't much that dedicated music fans love more than the dramatic saga of an unheralded creative genius getting his or her belated dues and discovering a new diamond in the rough complete with a back catalog of classics ready to be discovered.

Assuming Cool Daddio, a forthcoming documentary directed by Imogen Putler and Monika Baran, gets its backing, native Nashvillian, lo-fi legend and pioneer of home recording R. Stevie Moore could very well be the next in line for belated acclaim. For the uninitiated, Moore has recorded over 400 albums since his 1976 landmark debut, Phonography, and in the process influenced an entire generation of considerably more successful indie darlings like Ariel Pink, Mac DeMarco, Dr. Dog, MGMT, Mike Watt and more (most of whom are interviewed in the film).

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Listen to Bob Seger's Wicked Trippy Version of 'Turn the Page' From 1973

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Back in February, in some fit of lunacy, I decided that I was going to abstain from social networking for Lent. Mind you this the most Catholic thing I've done since they put me in a dress and dunked me in the baptismal, but there you have it. I'm observing Lent and avoiding the Tweetbook until Zombie Jesus rolls back that rock.

The problem is, I wrote an article about my favorite Bob Seger record for this week's dead-tree edition of the Scene, and I want to talk about it. But my cat is disinterested and my wife can recite my Bob Seger monologue from memory. Add that to the fact that most, if not all, of my friends have real jobs where they have to do things other than talk about Bob Seger and you can see my predicament.

This is one of those moments that social networking was invented for, but alas I am still committed to getting right with the God I don't really believe in. That, and my wife has the password to my site blocker and the lock-out won't expire for another 86 hours and 20 minutes. BUT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT BOB SEGER!!!

So, go listen to the track above and let's chat about how this version takes the classic "Turn the Page" and turns it into a sax-powered deep-space journey before the band totally wigs out like they've been shotgunning Bitches Brew all night. Please? I'm lonely.

More classic Seger clips after the jump.

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Caption Contest: Big Ears Festival Ticket Giveaway!

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 12:03 PM

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  • Photo: @mashable

Knoxville is a beautiful place, though it can be downright Bedlam during college football season. Things are guaranteed to be a bit different this weekend, as forward-thinking musicians of all stripes converge on the town for the Big Ears Festival, breaking down the divisions between art music and popular music, as well as music and other art forms. Over three days, six different stages around town will be graced by the likes of the Kronos Quartet, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley, Silver Apples and many more — with locals William Tyler, Tracy Silverman and Coupler among the ranks as well.

Even better news: we've got a pair of tickets to give away! All you have to do to win them is come up with the funniest caption for the above image. Split our sides! Bust our guts! Send us for a ride on the ROFL-copter! Post your caption in our comments section, and be sure to include your email address in the appropriate field — we won't publish your address, but we'll need it in order to contact our winner. Winner gets a pair of guest list spots. We'll pick our favorite caption at noon on Friday (As in tomorrow!), so be sure to keep an eye on your email. You've got exactly 24 hours! Now go!

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Cory Branan Gets Three-Dimensional in 'You Make Me' [Fresh Vid]

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 10:58 AM

"There’s nothing chill about Cory Branan’s music," Scene contributor Jewly Hight recently wrote. "Even the fingerpicking acoustic blues tune that closes out the longtime local’s vital new Bloodshot album, The No-Hit Wonder, sounds tightly wound." Well, whether it was his tightly wound delivery or his clever writing, something about Branan's No-Hit Wonder resonated — the record landed in the Scene's Top Local Records Critics' Poll, thanks in part to tunes like the charming little love song "You Make Me."

Earlier this week, Branan unveiled his Perry Bean-directed video for "You Make Me" via Rolling Stone Country, and you can watch it above. The video takes us inside everyone's favorite see-the-world-on-a-budget toy of yesteryear, a stereoscope, where we find Branan hanging in London, Easter Island, China and beyond. The neatest thing about the video? It's shot in 3D. "Since each shot was multi-layered, we could add 3D to back- and foreground stuff and leave the middle unaffected," Branan tells RSC. "Voila! A 3D video that you can watch without glasses, if you're into that sort of thing."

Dig in above to see if you're into that sort of thing.

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The Week in Fresh Tracks [Slanted, Makeup and Vanity Set, Jessie Baylin and More]

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 9:47 AM

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Greetings, Cream readers! Are you in the mood to get your stream on? Here's a virtual buffet of fresh tracks from some of your favorite local artists.

There are new faces, familiar faces, and a couple of icons all in the mix, bringing us rock, folk, dance-pop, electronic compositions and more. We don't necessarily try to mold these posts into a theme, but it's always nice when one develops. This week, there are memorable melodies all over the place. The hooks are strong with this one! Prepare to feast your ears — and probably whistle quite a bit, too.

Slanted, Forever

Casey Weissbuch rolls on with the debut release from his latest post-Diarrhea Planet project, Slanted. The bulk of Forever was recorded at the Tidwells' home base in Donelson, and Eli and Hunter Tidwell (aka Cortney and Todd's kids, aka two-fifths of outstanding teenage punk group Jawws) are part of the current lineup. On first listen, Slanted has a strong Pavement flavor, but I also hear The Posies, Nirvana, Pinkerton-era Weezer and others with a knack for turning pop songs inside out.

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SXSW, Bob Seger, Sylvan Esso and More: Inside This Week's Music Section

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 7:36 AM

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Lines Without Headliners: Nashville's reign on Austin's parade continues at this year's scaled-back, more sober SXSW

Feel Like a Number: And that number, Bob Seger, is Seven — the forgotten 1974 classic we need on vinyl, pronto (Playing Saturday, March 28, at Bridgestone Arena)

Going Pop: As Sylvan Esso, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn want to move your body and mind (Playing Wednesday, April 1, at Cannery Ballroom)

Modern Times
: Exploring the crossroads of music, dance and film, the modern music ensemble Intersection lives up to its name (Thursday, March 26, at The Platform)

In The Spin: Fleetwood Mac, Die Antwoord

Plus Critics' Picks on Caitlin Rose, The Features, Steve Gunn, Dr. Dog, Ledisi, FMRL, Timbre, Altered Statesmen, Kiesza, Peelander-Z and more.

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