Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Your Opinion Is Wrong: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Shockingly Unshocking

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Green Day singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Billy Joe Armstrong (right) performing with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame non-inductees The Replacements in Louisville, Ky.
  • Photo: Lance Conzett
  • Green Day singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Billy Joe Armstrong (right) performing with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame non-inductees The Replacements in Louisville, Ky.

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).

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

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 1:17 PM

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Everyone gets busy, but it has been far too long since we, your humble Scene and Cream music scribes, took a few minutes to discuss what we've been listening to on our own time. Seriously — our most recent post in this series was in April 2013.

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.

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JEFF the Brotherhood Gets Weird With the Brand-New 'What's a Creep' [Fresh Track]

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:16 PM

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Local sibling duo — and sometime snare-tight quartet — JEFF the Brotherhood was last seen blowing the doors off local haunt The End with a killer three-night stand in October, and then blowing up the spot at Dino's in November. They were most recently touring behind an EP of covers that included renditions of My Bloody Valentine, Wipers and Pixies songs, among others. Good shit.

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.

Stream "What's a Creep" below or via Soundcloud, and download it for free — a "Happy Holidaze" gift — at JTB's website.

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Lunchtime Poll: What's Your Favorite Hanukkah Song?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM

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Seeing as how we've dedicated the last two Lunchtime Polls to Christmas music ("Christmas Time Is Here" by Vince Guaraldi Trio is in the lead for best Christmas song, by the way), today, on the second day of Hanukkah, let's listen to all the cool Hanukkah songs that are out there.

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.

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Evan P. Donohue, Tristen and William Tyler Tonight at The 5 Spot

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 7:20 AM

In last week’s issue of the Sceneour 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.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hear Promised Land Sound's Tribute to Mike Brown, 'Canfield Drive' [Fresh Track]

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 4:46 PM

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In today's hyper-segmented, laser-focus media world, it's uncommon — though certainly not unprecedented — to hear music that comments on important social issues. In the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions, local artists have begun speaking out (hear RashadThaPoet's "2 Sons") about racial equality and the justice system.

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.

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BZRK's Anesthetic Awareness Mixtape Is Hard as Hell, Worth the Wait [Fresh Tracks]

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 3:43 PM

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A couple weeks back, we got a sneak preview of local hip-hop collective BZRK's Anesthetic Awareness via the video for "Now I'm Good." The whole mixtape dropped today via Jeffery Drag Records with streaming over on Impose, and it sets the crew up for a very strong 2015.

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.

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Caption Contest: Jack White Ticket Giveaway!

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Winning caption goes here
  • Winning caption goes here

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!

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Congratulations, Nashville, You Didn't Watch the American Country Countdown Awards Either

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 10:16 AM

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:

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Chris Crofton, Advice King: Karaoke Overdose

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 9:00 AM

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Comedian, musician, host of The Chris Crofton Show and former Nashvillian Chris Crofton asked the Scene for an advice column, so we gave him one. Crowning himself the “Advice King,” Crofton will share his hard-won wisdom with whosoever seeks it.

Follow Crofton on Facebook and Twitter, and to submit a question for the Advice King, email editor[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.

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

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