Tatted-up, star power-possessing Dirty Southern hip-hop phenom Yelawolf is no stranger to Nashville — we've tried to claim him as at least partially Nashvillian thanks to his Antioch roots, he headlined the Block Party Stage at the most recent (and final?) SoundLand festival, and he's been known to pop up at places like Hillbilly Casino's recent Exit/In show. He even reportedly tracked much of his highly anticipated forthcoming album, Love Story — which he co-executive produced with his homeboy Eminem — here in Music City. So it stands to reason that when Yela dropped a slew of upcoming Love Story-supporting tour dates, Nashville would be in the mix, right? Right indeed.
As a matter of fact, in the just-announced batch of roughly 50 dates, a Nashville stop appears to be the last scheduled show. I know that Yela reps Alabama, but to hell with it, let's call it a homecoming show. Yelawolf's Slumerican Made Tour will hit Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 21, and tickets are on sale now at this link for $20 a pop. Watch Yela's recent hotrod-fetishizing video for "Box Chevy V" above.
Need to catch up on music news? Or rather, need to catch up on news about musicians? As we all know, rock and pop stars and the places and people in orbit around them tend to be coddled assholes with inflated egos who say and do stupid and ridiculous things. And we hate-fuck-style love them all the more for it. From chuckle-worthy to cringe-worthy, here are some of last week’s more egregious examples, with commentary. Some you may have already seen, but many you may have missed.
The VMAs Sucked
Vapid, terrible and, worst of all, boring pretty much describes the 2014 MTV VMAs telecast … at least until it turned into a truncated Beyonce concert. The closest thing to rock ‘n’ roll featured in the show was a performance from baby-faced, dingo-treatment-deserving, Aussie pop-punk posers 5 Seconds of Summer (last seen opening for One Direction). But big congrats to D.C. post-hardcore luminaries Black Eyes for getting a shout out from Trey Songz.
It’ll take more than a nasty sprained ankle to sideline Jack White. Despite said injury (TMR’s de-facto latest black and blue release; here’s a pic), White’s North American tour rolls on, as does his well-documented tour of the nation’s major league ballparks. Check out the above photo (courtesy of Third Man Records’ Instagram) of an all-smiles White having a cross-generational rock-icon power summit with Paul Simon and Eddie Vedder at yesterday’s Seattle Mariners game, where the home team lost to the Texas Rangers. (Did Jack and Ed trade shirts?!)
Perhaps this trip to Seattle was the impetus for J-Dub’s Macklemore hair? Doubt it, but still, this is a pretty rad photo. The only bummer here is that Simon, Vedder and White didn’t go barbershop trio and treat the crowd at Safeco Field to a grunge-y, blues-rock-y, speak-sing-y rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Can you imagine how fucking weird that would sound? #MissedOpportunity.
From the Department of Awesome Late Concert Announcements comes the first visit in a minute from Fielded, the synth-dazzled solo experimental pop project from former local Lindsay Powell, who you know from outfits like Skyblazer and Festival. Cream Cap'n. D. Patrick Rodgers called last year's Ninety Thirty Thirty LP "a not-too-distant relative of releases by post-modern pop manipulators like, say, Grimes and CocoRosie — and Cocteau Twins and Björk before them," a description I can certainly get behind. Powell's been brewing a follow-up EP titled Universally Handsome, which has yet to be released, but she has dropped a track or two. One of those is "Reign," the somewhat suggestive but mostly safe-for-work video for which you can stream above. Maybe I have Kate Bush on the brain because she just started her first run of concerts in 35 years on Tuesday, but I hear some of her in Powell's complex vocal arrangements, which I find to be just the right kind of unnerving.
Fielded will play the Queen Ave. Art Collective tonight — that's the new DIY-ish spot deep on the East Side operated by Tyler Walker and friends — with help from a special reunion of Walker's incredibly loud, decidedly weird punk-pop trio Awesome Shirt, Chicago's free-form dance-popsters Whitegold and the live debut of Iron/Fox, the cosmic solo project from keyboard-slingin' man-about-town Aaron Irons.
Doors are at 8, show is at 9; no cover has been announced yet, but there will probably be one. You can check the Facebook event for the latest.
Down and Dirty With The Clean: Kiwi legends embark on a farewell tour — maybe (Playing Aug. 29 at The Stone Fox)
Quality Over Quantity: Logan Rogers and Lightning Rod Records keep it laid-back (This is the seventh installment in our ongoing "Label Makers" profile series. Stay tuned for more.)
Fingering the Devil: While Sir Richard Bishop's guitar violently bleeds, the rest of the world catches up (Playing Aug. 31 at FMRL at Emma Bistro)
In The Spin: Nashville Outlines 2014 at The Stone Fox, Old Crow Medicine Show with Shovels & Rope at The Woods at Fontanel
Plus Critics’ Picks on Live on the Green, Crackerboots’ album release, the KDSML Revue, Deep Fried 5’s album release, The Woggles with The Neckbones, Muddy Roots Festival, Sneakers x Speakers 4, Alejandro Escovedo, Kim Logan, Martina McBride, Open Mike Eagle, Migos, Landlady, Slammers, Rebecca Roubion, Dent May and more
Sorry, pop music. The Cream readers have spoken, and it is, in fact, time for you to retire the phrase "Can't stop / won't stop." Too bad! I guess you'll have to go back to comparing life to a book and love to a dance floor and shit. Speaking of pop music! I was going to have today's poll be about Beyonce, since the woman absolutely slayed with a 16-minute medley at the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend, but the question would be "Beyonce, do you want to be my best friend?" and the only option would be "Fuck yes I do" and it'd be rigged so only Beyonce could vote, which wouldn't be much fun for you.
So instead of gushing about Bey for a million hours (I'm always up for that, though — call me if you want to talk), let's talk about The Simpsons! Seeing as how the world is on Day 7 of a 12-day Simpsons marathon (it will wrap up on Sept. 1), I've been feeling a bit nostalgic for some of my favorite episodes. One of my all-time favorites is "Stark Raving Dad," the episode wherein Homer befriends a mental patient who believes he's Michael Jackson. Bart gets the man to write Lisa a birthday song, and it's the sweetest thing that's ever happened in animated television history. (Fun fact: Michael Jackson wasn't allowed to sing the song because of contractual obligations, so they had to hire an impersonator named Kipp Lennon. MJ did voice the rest of the character's lines, though — he's credited as John Jay Smith.)
The younger Earle released his debut LP Yuma in 2007, and over the course four subsequent albums in the intervening seven years— years marked by battles with drug addiction, the law and record labels — Earle has enjoyed a slow, steady rise to the top ranks of the alt-country/Americana world while conquering his demons. The singer’s forthcoming fifth full-length, Single Mothers — which you can get a little taste of here — is due Sept. 9 via Vagrant Records.
No word yet on who will open, but regardless of who does (hopefully a fellow local),* no doubt this stands to be a special show for JTE and for Nashville — not to mention one that will make one helluva preamble to Slipknot and Korn, who play Bridgestone Arena the following night. Tickets are $27.50-$35 and go on sale this Friday, Aug. 29, at 10 a.m., right here. If that's too pricy, he's also playing a free in-store at Grimey's on Sept. 4. Best of luck getting in the door for that one.
* Update: Cory Branan will open.
If you’ve done yourself the service of digging into the darkly cinematic 2014 LP Ancestor from Nashville’s own Harry Dean Stanton of art-rock, Stone Jack Jones, then you’re no doubt stoked to catch Jones at (brace for shameless plug!) the Scene’s Sounds Like Summer bash and Cream birthday party on Friday at Mercy Lounge/The High Watt (which, remember, is a FREE show). Y’all might also take interest in a splendid little mini-doc on the making of Ancestor, which you can watch above, right now, also for free.
Interviews with Jones, who elaborates on lyrical themes of rural American life in the industrial age, and Ancestor producer Roger Moutenot — both talk about the creative process and Jones’ tendency for musical layering and atmosphere — are complimented by footage of the singer shedding with his drums-and-string band (made up of post-rock wrecking crew vets Ryan Norris, Kyle Hamlett and Scott Martin). The short art-rock doc has some eerily austere but gorgeous, misty black-and-white shots of raindrops rippling against the surfaces of still creeks, locomotives shooting past small, dilapidated buildings, natural light ominously shining down rows of empty church pews, spinning revolver chambers, overcast skies, people-friendly white horses grazing by beaches and Jones himself cat-napping in a hammock.
Happy Wednesday, amigos. There's a pretty promising assortment of action on the docket for this evening, from pop and punk to roots and indie rock. Have a look after the jump, where I've got a whole smorgasbord of details and content lined up for you. Consume the content!
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."
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