Now let’s talk about Taylor Swift.
Earlier this week the real-life Scarlett O'Connor announced she was officially going pop and releasing her new album, 1989, on Oct. 27. During the announcement, which was an awkward-as-fuck fan-filled livestream, TaySwift also debuted a new song and video called "Shake it Off," wherein she calls out people who talk about how she dates too much and thinks she’s a dummy. In the song — which she says is inspired by ’80s pop and dance music but is actually inspired by the same formula Katy, Miley and Avril have been milking for years — Taylor sings, “Can’t stop / won’t stop moving.”
As far as peculiar juxtapositions to set the scene for a One Direction concert at LP Field on a Tuesday night, we couldn't have asked for more than the dovetailing din of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" and teen screams swelling out of the stadium and reaching the pedestrian bridge. Here, more teens, and their dutiful parents — some also decked out in neon or DIY 1D merch, others not so much — walked over to LP and cars inched across Korean Veterans Bridge. We had just been discussing, half-jokingly, with our date the number of selfies we were about to take: At least one for SnapChat and another for Instagram, figuring the latter would double as a Facebook post. No selfies were taken, however, because ... well, good God, why would you want to take a picture of yourself when you could photograph Harry Styles thrusting and throwing water over himself?!
Last month, we at the Cream unveiled the fourth installment in our ongoing Live in the Morgue performance series, wherein we invite diggable artists to come play a couple of tunes in the archives (aka the "morgue") of Nashville Scene HQ. This particular dose of LITM featured soul-bolstered rock 'n' roll troupe The Apache Relay, who delivered a fine rendition of "Katie Queen of Tennessee" from this year's The Apache Relay. But we had more than that up our sleeves. Above you can see yet another performance from the Relay's visit to the morgue: "Don't Leave Me Now," also taken from The Apache Relay. "Don't Leave Me Now" is a sweetly sentimental, classic-pop-styled song that pairs Mike Harris' slide guitar with Kellen Wenrich's violin swells — in this context, "violin" makes more sense than "fiddle" — behind Michael Ford Jr.'s graceful vocal melody. It's sweet-sounding stuff. Give the performance a look above or via the Scene's YouTube channel.
Live in the Morgue was directed by Anthony Simpkins of GemsOnVHS, with camera operation by Sam White and Seth Graves. Audio was recorded by Mike Colman and mastered by Sam Johnson.
By now you've probably heard all about that Facebook satire button for folks who can't tell reliable sources from fake news. Well, it doesn't work in real life, but that's not always such a bad thing, as a bunch of Jack White fans in London found out back on July 3. As reported by The Guardian, uneasy fans responded to calls and texts luring them into a spooky, rundown hospital building in central London, purported to be the headquarters of Vescovo & Co., where expert members of the immersive-theater troupe Punchdrunk put on a mock epidemic outbreak for their benefit.
Playing along with the gag, White and band appeared and performed a short set, which ended with a convulsing White being hauled off on a stretcher. The above "security camera" footage was "salvaged" and released just today, teased by Third Man Records on their Facebook page (see the message from "Nurse Nancy Hopper" block-quoted after the jump). The whole spiel is a clever play on the theme of White's new chart-topping LP Lazaretto, for sure. The timing seems a bit coincidental, considering the current Ebola epidemic, but the concert did indeed go down before news of the outbreak began to make national headlines a few weeks ago.
Did someone forget to tell me? Is Aug. 19 National Covers Day? It certainly seems that way. News has wafted our way today that a whole slew of locally residing artists — as well as artists who are locally significant, whether or not they pitch their tent here — have issued covers of some exceptionally good songs. You've got: Jim James, Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford and others working some old Bob Dylan lyrics into a new song; Gillian Welch and her longtime collaborator Dave Rawlings covering Johnny Cash; Electric Würms taking on The Beatles; and Natalie Prass getting her Janet Jackson on. Follow me after the jump to hear all the goods.
Below are the three "best" boy band videos out there, as arbitrarily decided by me, PLUS a special bonus video that you should all watch, learn and enjoy. Kick it!
In the few minutes before Tori Amos’ show kicked off, the P.A. washed the Ryman’s pews in the warm glow of Led Zeppelin’s greatest hits. This struck The Spin as an interesting choice on a couple of levels. On one hand, it might have been a gesture to the middle-aged husbands in the audience: “I know this isn’t how you would normally choose to spend your Monday night, so here’s something a little more your speed.” On the other hand, it underlined the pronounced hard, sharp edge on Amos’ work. Like Zeppelin — simultaneously an incredible rock band and the very banal definition of “classic rock,” not to mention unrepentant plunderers of the blues’ treasure chest — Amos is sometimes at odds with her image. Musically or lyrically, she’s never been the featherweight that the popular recollection of Lilith Fair sometimes makes her out to be. Her legion of superfans know this well, but after nearly 25 years in the limelight, would Amos feel the need to do more than preach to the choir?
If you missed out on either of those, don't worry — the FMRL dudes have plenty more up their sleeves, starting with a super-spooky show tonight. As Dark Tips, Jessica Pavone and Raquel Bell — whose respective backgrounds in art music and theater are put to good use in their music — perform a series of improvisations for viola, organ and voice that make even the cute kitten picture they're paired with kind of unnerving. See the Soundcloud embed after the jump and you'll understand what I'm talking about. Then, Haint Whoop make their debut performance. That's the astounding Evan Lipson on upright bass and percussion pro Bob Stagner, both of whom are active in the burgeoning Chattanooga arts scene.
It's a school night, so the show kicks off early at 8 p.m. You can snag tickets at the door for $10, or get them early for $7 at FMRL's website. News you can use: If you head to the site, you'll find a handy map that shows you how to get to the correct parking lot, which is conveniently located right outside the Bistro's door. Keep your eye on the Facebook event page for updates.
Today, America’s sweetheart with the unlucky lucky number announced she’ll pay tribute to the year of her birth by titling her fifth studio album — the follow-up to 2012's multi-platinum juggernaut Red — 1989 (cover art above). Whether all the notable, aforementioned events of late-‘80s history will be represented in the “Mean” singer’s latest solipsistically titled compendium of empowering kiss-off songs remains to be seen, or rather heard.
"Well, lately things have been a little complicated," sings local country songster Sturgill Simpson in the opening line of "Life of Sin," a standout track from this year's much-talked-about Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. You can say that again, Sturgill.
While we've seen Simpson and his crack band play "Life of Sin" on more than one occasion — most notably on a recent episode of The Late Show With David Letterman — the performance you can see above is particularly noteworthy. LR Baggs (a company that makes acoustic pickups, microphones, preamps and more) shot and recorded this rendition of "Life of Sin" in RCA Studio A, which has of course been in the news a lot lately. Like, a whole lot. The building that houses the historic studio became something of a political football this summer after Ben Folds (who rents space in the building) wrote an open letter expressing his concern that he might have to vacate the building. That ultimately led to a series of open letters back and forth between Folds and Harold Bradley (brother of country legend Owen Bradley and longtime co-owner of the building), before developer Tim Reynolds officially bought the place and Folds decided to move out. Reynolds has said that he plans to "preserve and incorporate the studio" into whatever design he and his firm come up with for the building that houses RCA Studio A, but who knows whether or not bands will continue to track and perform there.
"I wanted to capture a more reflective, softer, intimate side of the song," Simpson tells Rolling Stone Country in regard to the above performance. He's clearly a fan of the space. "I'm not sure how much of that was the influence of the room or my own short attention span." Good stuff. Give the performance a look, and cross your fingers that this isn't the last we see and hear out of RCA Studio A.
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