I'm not sure how this nearly slipped beneath our usually well-tuned show radar, but consider us schooled. If you're looking for something that goes a little harder than Washed Out's kaleidoscopic chill-wave mood music tonight, one-time Clipse member and Kanye West crony Pusha T is headlining Anthem for what could be the best hip-hop club show of the year.
If you haven't been keeping up with Push since Clipse parted ways in 2009, he's become the standout star of Kanye's GOOD Music label, notably reinvigorating Chief Keef's “Don't Like”, featuring on "Mercy" on last year's Cruel Summer compilation and, this year, releasing his critically acclaimed solo debut, My Name Is My Name. If you're down for minimalist, sinister-sounding trap music with a brain, this is where you want to be.
King Push will be joined by Openmic, Purpl Monk, Ducko McFli, Thatguysoda and DJ Rate on the ones and twos. It's a pricey one — $30 for general admission and $40 for VIP — but consider this: Pusha T isn't going to be playing clubs for very long if he keeps on the same trajectory that he's been on. Mark it.
* Longtime Middle Tennessean indie-rock fans will undoubtedly remember The Katies, the power-pop outfit that helped lead the Spongebath Records takeover of the late '90s. The band, led by Jason Moore and Gary Welch, is still doing their thing, and above you can see Moore and Welch playing three tunes ("Hotel," "Your Broken Heart" and "Sideways") for Toy Box Studio's Stereo Sessions. Big-hearted power-pop with spot-on vocal harmonies. If you dig it, dig in.
* I don't need to remind you just how hard Those Darlins have been grinding along this year in support of their Blur the Line (which landed at No. 6 in our Top Local Albums of 2013 critics' poll). The Darls recently stopped by Colorado Public Radio's studios to perform a handful of Blur the Line tunes ("Blur the Line," "Optimist," "In the Wilderness" and "Oh God"), and you can see those videos after the jump. Sounding on point as always.
* And finally, Courtney Jaye, whose 2013 release Love and Forgiveness is among the most underrated local LPs of the year. Sometime Scene contributor Marissa R. Moss runs a little blog you may have heard of (Lockeland Springsteen), and she recently had Jaye stop by to perform her tune "Morning." Hell of a set of pipes CJ has on her. Watch that video after the jump.
So hey, who needs another dose of "Nashville's not just country"? Nashville 2.0: The Rise of Americana — not to be confused with that controversial love letter to ourselves, For the Love of Nashville, which aired on ABC Nov. 3 — aired Nov. 22 on PBS. As noted at the PBS site, Nashville 2.0 explores what the public broadcasters call "the vibrant Americana music scene," which "draws inspiration from country, folk, bluegrass, R&B, blues, roots rock, bluegrass, gospel, rockabilly, honky-tonk, alternative rock, folk rock and punk." The 53-minute doc features performance and interview footage of Dawes, Billy Bragg, Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Rosanne Cash (saying "Nine Inch Nails," for one reason or another), the Scene's very own music scribe extraordinaire Jewly Hight, fucking Mumford & Sons, The Mavericks, The Avett Brothers, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Richard Thompson and ... well, hell. Dozens more. You can't expect me to list everybody.
Anyhow, all of Nashville 2.0: The Rise of Americana is now available to stream in high resolution on Vimeo. If you've got a spare hour, give it a look above. Then report to the comments section — I want 1,000 words from each of you on the definition of "Americana." As noted music journo Robert K. Oermann puts it (in what is almost certainly a nod to the famous quote from Justice Potter Stewart regarding the definition of pornography), "I can't describe it exactly, but I know it when I hear it."
As Old Man Winter descends upon Nashville, I doubt I could conjure a better bill than one featuring the shoegazing producer/songwriter Ernest Greene — performing with his wife and others as Washed Out — and the ascendant local duo Jensen Sportag. Who else could warm our blood and bones with more groove-oriented mirth? There are few. In August, Washed Out continued its auspicious run with the release of Paracosm, a rich collection of earthy, hypnotic pop that should dispel any notion of Greene as a one-trick chill-waving pony. Paracosm builds on Washed Out’s strengths — the dusty, romantic somnolence, the “Feel It All Around”-isms — and shows the Georgia native to be a competent songwriter too. As for perennial smooth operators Jensen Sportag, well, we can’t stop extolling their immaculate, adventurous debut Stealth of Days, which was just released to the pleasure of experimental pop enthusiasts everywhere. Neither, for that matter, can The Wall Street Journal, Pitchfork, Vogue and many, many others. Read my recent review of Stealth of Days here.
Tonight's show at Exit/In starts at 9 p.m., and admission is $20 at the door.
Cash, feeling — as he describe in 1997’s Cash: The Autobiography — “invisible,” retaliated against Columbia by cutting the intentionally atrocious, self-parodying novelty number “Chicken in Black.” Though the song was intended to punish Columbia, country music fans also suffered. Call it collateral damage. His unequivocally worst song, “Chicken in Black” tells the convoluted tale of a three-way brain transplant ordeal between Cash, a slain bank robber and a singing chicken, or something. The plan worked, and the label dropped Cash in 1986.
In the latest dead-tree edition of the Scene — our annual Year in Music issue — contributor Jewly Hight points out that native Texan turned Nashville star (and former Nashville Star) Kacey Musgraves "introduced an astute, millennial voice to the country conversation" with this year's Same Trailer, Different Park. "She dared address the constricting side of small-town existence and raise a joint to expressions of difference," says Jewly.
Perhaps none of Musgraves' songs raises that metaphorical joint higher than "Follow Your Arrow," the third single from Trailer. Musgraves has a brand-new video for the tune (watch it above), which was shot in Joshua Tree, Calif. Fact: If you shoot your country music video in the Yucca Valley area, I will post it on the Cream (example 1, example 2). "Follow Your Arrow" is a philosophically populist (or at least humanist) take on living that I think we can all identify with. "When the straight-and-narrow gets a little too straight," Musgraves sings, "roll up a joint. Or don't. Just follow your arrow wherever it points."
On Friday, the nominees for the 2014 Grammys were announced, and it turns out Musgraves is up for four awards — Best New Artist, Best Country Album and twice for Best Country Song. Congrats to Musgraves! Now, roll up a joint (or don't) and dig the video above.
The Spin arrived at local house-show spot The Other Basement a bit late on Monday night — or so we thought. When we finally touched down around 10 p.m., the ground was literally ice and the backyard resembled a vast, frozen wasteland, save the dozen or so people huddled around the door. Upon walking inside, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the opening act, Casting Couch, had just begun, and that the basement was packed.
Bowling Green natives and current (partial) Nashville residents Cage the Elephant are still grinding along on their Melophobia album cycle — it's a cycle that began with a super-secret album-preview performance, continued with some dates opening for arena-progsters Muse and chugs along now with television appearances and dates with English indie rockers Foals. Last night, Cage chugged right on along to Jimmy Kimmel Live's Sony Outdoor Stage (hey, what label are they signed to again?), where they played a pair of Melophobia tunes: lead single "Come a Little Closer" (watch above) and album cut "Take It or Leave It" (after the jump). Points to that clutch auxiliary man over there in the wings, providing some extra instrumentation and doubled vocals. Sounding good. Enjoy!
The phrase “young coed folk-pop group” has the power to strike fear of “Ho Hey” retreads in the hearts of many. And while it’s technically an accurate descriptor of Wild Child, it’s also kinda misleading. Co-fronting the Austin septet is the songwriting duo of Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins, who frequently serenade each other with conversational crooning. (And no, they’re not twee She & Him imitators either.) Borne on their wispy, playful melodies are subtly gleeful jabs. It takes close listening to their new Ben Kweller-assisted album The Runaround to pick up on the wryness of their dynamic, but it’s right up front when you see them live, bantering with the salty, vaudevillian affection of a new-school George Burns and Gracie Allen. Beggins’ main ax is a baritone ukulele, and Wilson’s a violinist who grew up playing bluegrass with Sarah Jarosz and now contributes lush string passages with the help of cellist Sadie Wolfe. There are jazz and piano-pop flourishes here and there, too. It all adds up to a very welcome and pleasing surprise.
Also performing tonight at The High Watt will be Nina Diaz (of Girl in a Coma) and Holiday Mountain. The show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $12 at the door.
Thanks Lance.. Let us know if you wanna come out tonight on us... Anthem
This is the first time I've heard "Chicken in Black," so I'm no apologist, but…
no d-pat, it's "fun with a 'k'"
Yes, yes I can.