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.
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!
"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.
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.
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.
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)
"I used to have a long ponytail, to the waist," he says. "Whenever I'd go into those clubs, everybody would look at me like, 'What the ... ?!' They don't know I'm Japanese. I might look like an American Indian, Laotian. With a ponytail. In a cowboy bar.
"But every time I sit in and play music, those guys who sit at the counter and look at me like that, go, 'Come here, man. What do you want to drink?' "
But if you're still looking to get out of town and none of the above strikes your fancy, Lollapalooza goes down in Chicago's Grant Park July 31-Aug. 2, and the lineup — the top tier, anyway — is massive. Sir Paul McCartney, who has knocked The Spin's figurative socks off not once, not twice, but three times, shares the top spot with Metallica, which still brings a thundering cavalcade of thrash even when not batting a thousand (though that Basement show is kind of an unbeatable benchmark, and I wasn't even there), and Florence and the Machine, who didn't exactly stick with The Spin back in 2011. Lolla's undercard includes Sam Smith, Bassnectar, Alabama Shakes, Kid Cudi, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Sturgill Simpson, Tyler the Creator, Moon Taxi, Gogol Bordello, Flying Lotus, Twin Peaks and more. Maybe there won't be a shot at another Robert Plant/Jack White cameo (as happened at Lollapalooza Argentina last weekend), but there's always the chance of a Beat-allica (not Beatallica) rendition of "In My Life," for better or worse. Is that enough to justify the VIP package (because GA weekend and single-day passes are currently sold out)? See the full lineup after the jump and decide for yourself.
So then, great news for fans of outstanding, critically acclaimed records: Both D'Angelo and Musgraves have been added to the 2015 Bonnaroo lineup, as has West African outfit Songhoy Blues. (Read a little of Songhoy's interesting back story here.) According to 'Roo's site, Musgraves will play Friday, and D'Angelo and Songhoy Blues will both play Saturday.
Tickets to Bonnaroo are available at this link. Now, let us all join hands and watch some of the aforementioned killers' performance vids after the jump.
As evidenced by Joe Angio’s documentary Revenge of the Mekons, opening Thursday night at The Belcourt for a brief run, sometimes the music industry’s most fascinating stories aren’t about the biggest successes, but the biggest survivors. Forming in 1977 in Leeds, U.K., The Mekons were contemporaries of Gang of Four and U2 (the later of whom founding Mekon Jon Langford deemed “rubbish” when Bono & Co. opened for them). But this pack of musically rough-around-the-edges, politically charged art students opted for the fork in the road that inadvertently led to cult status and critical acclaim, though not mega-stardom.
They could’ve disbanded after riding the punk wave of the late ’70s and early ’80s. But instead they created a singular brand of country-infused — or perhaps Brit-folk — punk that continues to evolve with each album, even as it has laid some pretty significant stones in the foundation of Americana music. The Mekons’ lineup has also evolved throughout the years, and the current eight members are dispersed across multiple continents from the U.S. to the U.K. to Syria.
But even after nearly 40 years, their “fuck the system” ethos, while slightly more nuanced, is the same, as is their ability to create music that beautifully — and loudly — expresses how funny, difficult and weird life is. Jon Langford will be at The Belcourt’s first screening 8 p.m. Thursday for a post-film Q&A, which (full disclosure) yours truly will moderate. Also, director Angio will appear after the 7:10 p.m. show Saturday.
This July 18-19, it will host the inaugural Sloss Music and Arts Festival, a hot new festival with a solid lineup that includes several acts also slated for Forecastle in Louisville that same weekend. If you'd rather make about the same drive in the opposite direction, you can catch Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Sturgill Simpson, Cage the Elephant, Birmingham hometown heroes St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Primus, First Aid Kit and others, with one more headline act still to be announced.
Two-day passes start at $105, and go on sale here Friday, March 27 at 10 a.m.
What'cha gonna do, when Left Shark runs wild on you?!
Fans of le music popular could do worse to get a copy of "The Mekons…
Cause of Sharknado finally revealed.
The loser has the unfortunate duty of sleeping with Katy Perry.