Welp, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced this year’s inductees yesterday, and what happens next will blow your mind. That is, assuming completely predictable decisions are the kind of thing that blow your fuse. While this column is normally reserved for ruffling feathers or un-ruffling my own feathers, I have to admit the HoF made some sound choices this year.
After 18 years of eligibility, the late Lou Reed gets inducted for second time; The Velvet Underground got the honor in 1996, after an inexplicable four years of eligibility. Meanwhile Bill Withers (this year's obligatory R&B inductee), Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (this year's sole female inductee), Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble (this year's Rush/KISS-style passive-aggressively overlooked inductee) and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (this year's Laura Nyro surprise inductee) all seem like they all should have received the honor years ago. And then, of course, perhaps the Hall's only mildly controversial, mildly feather-ruffling choice, pop-punk patron saints Green Day are this year's big, iconic first-ballot inductees, making the cut in their first year of eligibility, which stands to reason. Also, Ringo Starr is the final Beatle to go solo into the Hall of Fame, though his is induction is via the Award for Musical Influence — formerly known as the “Sideman” award (alas, 1973's Ringo, like heavy metal as a genre entirely, remains overlooked).
Thanks to a team effort from freelancers Seth Graves, Jewly Hight, Edd Hurt and Sean Maloney, plus managing editor D. Patrick Rodgers, culture editor Megan Seling, music editor Adam Gold, contributing editor Steve Haruch and myself, we've brought it back, just in time for the holidays. There's a killer variety of sounds here: Naturally, there are some holiday tunes, but there's also someone's mixtape A-game, Mexican funk, "Americana Slowcore," "pop punk songs for Smiths fans," thoughts on that sweet new D'Angelo record and lots more. Check them all out after the jump.
But hey, surprise! Today we have our first taste of new original JEFF material in many moons. Below you can stream "What's a Creep," a little taste of the psychedelic grunge-pop behemoths' forthcoming LP, scheduled for a spring 2015 release. The tune is all about the titular creep, a bogus bro who's "watching when you sleep," chilling "in the trees," "creeping up on you and me." Get outta here, creep! There's even some pretty shredtacular, Eddie Van Halen-esque lead-guitar noodling just after the two-minute mark. Enjoy that.
Of course there's Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song," which I still think is pretty funny (Sandler, as dopey as he is, had his moments), and in my ska-loving days I always enjoyed Save Ferris' take on the Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping," where the lyrics are changed to describe the holiday season from a Jewish perspective.
In last week’s issue of the Scene — our Year in Music issue — we ran the results of our annual Top Local Records Critics’ Poll. Some truly great albums made the cut, from country songster Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music to DJ/producer Amerigo Gazaway’s killer mash-up record Yasiin Gaye. But heartbreakingly, a lot of very excellent material just missed the cut — perhaps most notably Evan P. Donohue’s latest full-length, Stairway to Evan, which happens to be about 490 percent better than its title. Donohue’s particular brew of power pop frequently fetches comparisons to similarly shape-shifting rock ’n’ roll masterminds like Elvis Costello and Beck, but Stairway shouldn’t be boiled down to a brief list of influences. Thanks to songs like the subtle, yearning ballad “1 Glance,” the sloppy and insouciant rock ’n’ roll number “Tarot Cards” and the beautifully patient and catchy album-closer “Tell Me, Sara,” Donohue’s blend of ’60s pop, Kinks-y garage rock, New Wave and folk is bigger than the sum of its parts.
Tonight Donohue is joined by a pair of lauded local performers who are no stranger to the recent years’ Scene Critics’ Poll: indie-pop songstress Tristen, who headlines, and guitar virtuoso William Tyler.
Last weekend, local country-inflected rockers Promised Land Sound stopped in at Jeremy Ferguson's Battle Tapes Recording to track "Canfield Drive," named for the street in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown died in August. It's a reminder of the potential that was lost with his death, as well as the broader concerns it raises. The searing guitar lines have faint echoes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Ohio," an anthem protesting the shootings at Kent State University in 1970, but it's the words that carry the weight. Stream it below.
BZRK's core posse of ThirdEye G and Caveman has consistently expanded: Now the ranks include Fubar, Mac Donald, Caustic and Basedghost. Sometimes a big posse can weigh things down, but not here. The MCs are agile and on point like your favorite backpackers, and there's a diverse crop of beats equal parts from funk and ambient music, all produced by ThirdEye and all razor-sharp. "De So Hollow," which takes the high-profile rap game to task, is a surefire standout. Stream 'em all below.
As I click "publish" on this post, Jack White's Jan. 28 show at Bridgestone Arena — which we announced back in October — has no remaining tickets on the floor, lower bowl or club level. The only seats left in the whole damn place are way up in the 300s. So, have you bought your tickets yet? Did the announcement that Loretta Lynn will open the show tip the scales for you?
Well, if you're still snoozing on picking up your Jack-and-Loretta tickets — or if you're just looking for a pretty killer stocking stuffer for a pal — the Cream is here to help. We're giving away a pair of tickets to the may-very-well-sell-out show, and all you have to do to win them is be extremely funny. See the image at the top of this post (courtesy of the absolutely stellar Crap Taxidermy Twitter feed)? Come up with the most side-splitting caption imaginable to accompany said pic, and post it down there in our comments section. Be sure to enter your email address in the appropriate field — we won't publish it, but we'll need it in order to contact our winner. We'll pick our favorite caption on Tuesday, Dec. 23, so keep an eye on your inbox. All right, everyone ready to do this? Go!
The American Country Countdown Awards were so bad I couldn't even hate-watch them. I lasted about 45 seconds before flipping back to the moderately bad Monday Night Football game on ESPN.
And in spite of the daily paper treating them like a real thing, with a front-page presence both yesterday and today, Nashville largely yawned. Overnight ratings for our market had the ACC awards finishing fifth, behind the other three networks and MNF. Check it out:
Dear Advice King,
My girlfriend loves karaoke. A lot. She probably goes three nights a week, and it seems like the only way I ever get to spend any time with her is when I'm accompanying her to some smoky place where people are butchering Garth Brooks' "Low Places" through a crummy P.A. I hate karaoke. Also, she's not even a very good singer. I love her, but what do I do? How do I get out of this?
-Austin in Germantown
Anon sweet stallion, to the branches of the mighty oak where I might find sustenance!
They call me....Wild Nuts Hickok.....
With regards to Ida, they have a few songs that I always put in my…
new releases... Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds In Country Music Steelism - 615 To Fame…
Well, they said they wanted it stuffed and mounted.