It’s been a hot three-month minute since Openmic last unleashed a new video. But today the Music City emcee posted the video (above) for his drippy slow jam “Floss” — the opening track from his latest LP, For the Rebels 2, which dropped in April.
Directed by ORGNZD VISUAL (aka Alabama director/photographer LeXander Bryant), the strikingly glossy clip matches the track’s sleek sound, featuring Openmic fraternizing with friends and flying a Volunteer State flag as he strolls around Nashville and flows on about facing up to his own flaws. (RIYL blood-red filters and shots of dudes sharpening machetes!) “This song for me was like taking a deep breath," the rapper writes of the song and video on his YouTube page. "I didn't over-think concepts or lyrics, I just told my story.”
And this jam has a humble message. “I think it's fitting to organically just show people where I'm from and some of the homies,” 'Mic continues. “Turn my flaws into floss is that moment where I realized that we can't fail as long as we keep going. Every mistake, every slip-up — can't even trip about it because the end result is a win."
All of these tracks were recorded live to tape at G.E.D. Soul Records' Poor Man Studios over the Memorial Day holiday in 2012 — no overdubs, what you hear is what went down in the room. Not long after, the members of The Coolin' System went their separate ways, but the label kept on rollin', with quarterly releases this year including DeRobert and the Half-Truths' latest, I'm Tryin', and the full-length eponymous debut from hard-funk outfit A.J. and the Jiggawatts.
Just in time for Labor Day 2014, the tapes were made ready for public consumption, and even better, the System is reuniting for two release shows this Saturday. You can catch 'em at Grimey's at 5 p.m., or later at The High Watt — coincidentally, part of our Sounds Like Summer blowout (look for a little more on that in this week's paper, coming your way Thursday morning).
Both of those shows are free, so don't miss out. You can also stream Refrigerate After Opening below (or purchase it via G.E.D.'s Bandcamp page), and if you don't want to melt like a bomb pop on the sidewalk, I suggest you go do that.
If you had your eyes trained on the Cream yesterday, then you know that we had our hands full on Saturday covering both the scorching Nashville Outlines fest at The Stone Fox and the waterlogged Old Crow Medicine Show blowout at The Woods at Fontanel. But there was one other outsized soiree that went down on Saturday: EDM mogul Diplo's traveling Mad Decent Block Party tour hit the lot in front of Anthem on 12th Avenue. As contributor Seth Graves pointed out in his preview of Mad Decent's Music City stop, this weekend's MD installment featured performances from Riff Raff (just one day before he showed up with Katy Perry at the VMAs looking like a denim nightmare), Project Pat, GRiZ, Zeds Dead, Two-9, Big Gigantic, TJR, I See Monstas and Diplo himself.
While The Spin wasn't able to make it out to Mad Decent, our pals over at local EDM/hip-hop-skewing music blog Break on a Cloud sent their boy Cakemaster to document the festivities. He turned in the above recap video, which features just the sorts of sights and sounds you'd expect at a traveling EDM mega-party: body paint, a shirtless Caucasian dude wearing a conical Asian hat, inflatable tube men, twerking, red Solo cups, weed talk, pretty lights and beyond. Diplo even shouts out to my alma mater, Hendersonville High School, which he attended "for a couple years." Go Commandos. Pro video; give it a look.
There are few bands that have felt the whiplash sting of Pitchfork’s infuriating fickleness quite like Floridian dance-pop troupe Black Kids. Riding high on a Best New Music recommendation and an 8.4 rating for their debut EP, Wizard of Ahhhs, the band seemed poised for indie greatness — not from the Pitchfork Bump, but on the shoulders of their ultra-catchy breakout single “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You.” And then Pitchfork dropped the shittiest hammer imaginable, branding the band’s debut full-length, Partie Traumatic, with a 3.3 and a review that was nothing more than a picture of two pugs with “sorry :-\” typed over it. Six years since their debut was met with a deafening shrug from the hipster elite, Black Kids are back with another run at earworm-y pop music, preparing for their follow-up record and shaking the dust off their eminently danceable indie-pop sensibilities.
Tonight's show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $10. Royal Hoax and Daddy Issues will open.
Modern hip-hop is full of eccentrics, but Kevin Gates is a true enigma. Over the past year, he has emerged as one of the forefront figures in Southern independent hip-hop and gangsta rap’s resurgence while uncompromisingly remaining himself. Louisiana is famous for producing hip-hop oddballs: Lil Wayne, Lil Boosie, Mystikal — and Gates. But it’s actually local folk hero and frequent Gates collaborator Starlito who might draw the most ready comparison to the one-of-a-kind rapper: Their recent “SHIT” freestyle displays their camaraderie and like-mindedness. But don’t get it twisted. While Gates and Starlito may greatly complement each other, there’s only one person capable of offering what Kevin Gates has — and that’s Kevin Gates. His most recent album, By Any Means, proves this once again. Opening for him will be Chevy Woods, one of Taylor Gang’s original members, who was formerly known as Wiz Khalifa’s main hypeman. Woods has managed to carve a nice lane for himself over the past few years, however — some might even suggest that he shows up his boss Wiz when the two are compared bar-for-bar and flow-for-flow. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Tonight's show at Mercy Lounge starts at 9 p.m. and costs $20 at the door.
Tickets for this upcoming evening of face-paint-melting modern metal and brutal doomsday preparedness go on sale Sept. 5 here (probably). Aggressively incorrigible, or rather incorrigibly aggressive, newcomer heavy-metal roustabouts King 810 — a Michigan metal troupe that, in their budding career, has already inspired at least one fan to self-mutilate and, between band members, racked up at least two arrests for “assault with intent to do great bodily harm.” Brutal, right?
Slipknot also announced a track list and Oct. 21 release date for their long-awaited comeback album, .5: The Gray Chapter. While such news is hardly interesting or exciting to ‘Knot non-fans, here is a bit of a revelation for any funnybone-having casual observer looking for a little chuckle: Did you know Slipknot singer Taylor (who also fronts alt-rockers Stone Sour and supported Nashville flood relief in 2010) is an amazing comedian?
After the success of last year's Nashville Outlines fest at beloved West Side bar-slash-venue-slash-restaurant The Stone Fox, nothing could keep crowds away for the sophomore installment on Saturday. Not even punishing temperatures and intermittent rainstorms, though there was plenty of that. Skater kids, families with little tykes, outdoor vendors, security guards, bands, dogs, drunks, punks and even your old pals The Spin braved every bit of it, and even if we wound up with wet socks, we'd say this year's edition of Outlines was a rousing success. And hey, the outdoor-bar lines were way shorter than they were last year.
The Spin followed the sea of bobbing folding chairs being carried on the backs of concertgoers into the The Woods Amphitheater Saturday evening. These were nice folding chairs, the kind that have special backpack straps for ease of transport, designed for and purchased by people for whom outdoor summer concerts are a way of life. The women were all beautiful in their sundresses or cutoff shorts with strappy sandals, and the men all looked vaguely militaristic with short hair, cargo shorts and flip-flops. “I need to get in shape,” said one such dude behind us as we waited in line for one of six porta-potties. “I’ve shrunk 20 pounds.” The Woods’ audience, we decided, is basically the Live on the Green audience with gainful employment.
Tonight and tomorrow night, the one and only Merle Haggard — whom fellow Creamster Adam Gold describes in a Critic's Pick as "the no-introduction-needing outlaw country icon, Bakersfield Sound architect and 2010 Kennedy Center honoree behind such classics as 'The Bottle Let Me Down,' 'Mama Tried' and 'Okie from Muskogee'" — will play the one and only Ryman Auditorium, where he last performed in April 2012. Both nights are completely sold out — though, of course, you can always take your chances hunting for tickets via Craigslist.
Anyhow, for those in need of either a consolation prize or a primer for the Hags' shows, have a look above. It's a clip from an episode of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, which ran on CBS for three-and-a-half years and 91 episodes in the late '60s and early '70s. In this particular clip you can see Haggard performing some pretty damn spot-on impressions of his fellow country stars Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Marty Robbins and Hank Snow. "Truthfully I can't hardly do a show without gettin' asked for 'em anymore," Haggard tells Campbell in regard to his impersonations. And it's no wonder: The dude nails all four, right down to Owens' facial expressions and Cash's penchant for strumming high on the neck of his guitar. A couple of Haggard's subjects even show up during the segment. Give it a look. Good stuff.
Music Band, "I Was Like"
We've mentioned banally monikered but totally righteous rock 'n' roll trio Music Band a time or two. They're good. Well, they'll release a 7-inch — “I Was Like” b/w “Everything Wants a Piece of Me” — Sept. 9 via Infinity Cat, and you can hear "I Was Like" above. Though this tune is the same sort of tightly wound, psychedelic groover we heard from Music Band on their Can I Live cassette — which was released as part of iCat's ongoing cassette series — the production here feels a little cleaner and smoother. Music Band will play a release show Sept. 12 at The Basement.
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