Friday, August 28, 2015

Public Enemy's Chuck D: The Cream Interview

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 1:42 PM

  • Photo via Chuck D's official Facebook page
  • Chuck D
Hip-hop legends Public Enemy have had an incalculable impact on music and culture since emerging in the early '80s. Their sound spotlighted bandleader Chuck D's thundering baritone and outspoken commentary and hype man Flavor Flav's comedic asides, a percolating mix atop furious rhythms and blistering samples.

The group's remained together through constant changes on the hip-hop landscape. As other collectives have come and gone, rap hegemony has passed from the East to the West Coast and back to the South. What was once principally an underground scene of notable performers has evolved into a chart-dominating, multi-faceted part of pop culture with numerous acts around the nation and the globe.

Since issuing its debut LP Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987, the band's had several acclaimed releases. 1989's It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back was the first hip-hop LP to top The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop poll. They were also the fourth rap group voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

The group's 13th studio album, Man Plans God Laughs, came out in July. I first interviewed Chuck D in 1989. As a point of information, the Khari Wynn being referenced in this latest interview (after the jump), is my son. He joined the group in 2001 and now serves as its music/band director.

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Ashley Monroe Gets Heavy on Conan with 'I Buried Your Love Alive'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 11:08 AM

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Since her new long-player The Blade dropped on July 24, Ashley Monroe's been making the rounds in support of it. The album has a wide range, with the wistful title cut sitting side-by-side with the hopeful "On To Something Good," the wry "Winning Streak" and others. 

Wednesday night, Monroe and her group of ringers stopped by Conan to show off yet another side of The Blade. "I Buried Your Love Alive" is heavy stuff — a song about stubborn affection that won't stay dead, driven along by a growling baritone guitar and spouting wicked-hot organ licks. 

Check out the performance after the jump, and catch Monroe in person Nov. 20 at City Winery. 

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Weekend Round-up: Thriller Style

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 7:46 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO: D. RICKY RODRIGUEZ
  • Photo: D. Ricky Rodriguez
Salutations and a happy Friday to you, Creamsters. Had he not died in 2009, tomorrow would have been Michael Jackson's 57th birthday. The King of Pop set both creative and commercial bars in pop music that have yet to be raised. Personally, Off the Wall is my jam, but Thriller is some astonishing work, even if you don't count the mountains of copies sold (depending on which markets you count, it's the best-selling album of all time; a defensible claim with over 40 million certified sales, 29 million of which were in the U.S.) or the incredible music videos for "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and of course, the groundbreaking mini-horror-flick made for the title track.

How about some shows? Tonight, you've got Keb' Mo' at the Schermerhorn; Tinariwen at Mercy; Those Darlins at the Frist; Steve Lewis' album release at FooBar; a Scriabin program (no, he wasn't tripping balls all the time, but he did have synesthesia) featuring pianist Daniel Colalillo at the Steinway Piano Gallery; The Dexateens at The Basement East; Old Crow Medicine Show at Ascend Amphitheater and more. Saturday, you've got a panel and a concert at the Country Music Hall of Fame, tied to the new Sam Phillips exhibit; Ruby Amanfu at The High Watt; Donna McElroy at the Nashville Jazz Workshop; Pony Boy's album release at The Basement; Social Distortion at the Ryman; Thelma and the Sleaze and others at Turn One for Bitchfest 5; My So-Called Band at Cannery; Guilty Pleasures at Mercy and more.

Have a look at the rest after the jump, let us know what we missed in the comments, and make sure you have the soul for gettin' down before you go out this weekend. Don't want to mess with the funk of 40,000 years. Ew.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Listen to Yours, Dreamily, the Soul-Bending Debut Album From Dan Auerbach's The Arcs

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 1:37 PM

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Soul albums with psychedelic flourishes aren't too hard to find. But an album that's equally parts R&B and psych is a bit more unusual, and that's what Black Keys' bluesbreaker Dan Auerbach and his cohorts in The Arcs have done with Yours, Dreamily, their debut LP. The album's official release is Sept. 4, but NPR Music posted the whole thing today as a First Listen.

From the introduction — a short number which invokes and at the same time interrogates spiritual contemplation, with warped samples of meditation lectures unreeling over a melodramatic organ — to the gentle folk-tinged finish, it's brimming with complex, shimmering soundscapes. But it's never cluttered, and everything is grounded in meaty grooves that recall Auerbach's work on Dr. John's Grammy-winning Locked Down. Some sections compare favorably to Jerry Garcia's solo albums, but if you hang around a minute, you'll find yourself in territory Prince or Donny Hathaway might visit. Check it out after the jump.

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The Week in Fresh Tracks [Los Colognes, Earl Burrows, Chancellor Warhol, Andrew Combs, William Tyler Band and More]

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 10:52 AM

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Greetings, Cream readers! Are you in the mood to get your stream on? Here's a virtual buffet of fresh tracks from some of your favorite local artists — prepare to feast your ears!

This week is heavy on the rock and pop, with good feels and good riffs, all nicely balanced: also hear some choice songwriting, banjo-on-banjo action and a mini-hip-hopera with very cool featured guests.

As always, send submissions to cream[at]nashvillescene[dot]com, and look back at past weeks in fresh tracks here.

Los Colognes, "Baby You Can't Have Both"
On their sophomore LP, Los Colognes are spotlighting some sounds that fell out of fashion before their time, and damn if they haven't aged well. Over a breezy, Dead-meets-Little-Feat-meets-Bo-Diddley beat, hear Jay Rutherford & Co. talkin' fidelity; a sort of role-reversed take, if you will, on this Lovin' Spoonful gemDos is out Sept. 4, and the Colognes play a double album release with Erin Rae at The Basement East that night.

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Ruby Amanfu, Sam Phillips, Keb' Mo', Maddie & Tae and More: Inside This Week's Music Section

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 7:45 AM

click to enlarge Ruby Amanfu - PHOTO: SHERVIN LAINEZ
  • Photo: Shervin Lainez
  • Ruby Amanfu
Perfect Imperfection: Country Music Hall of Fame salutes the 'cosmic genius' of Sam Phillips with a new exhibit  (Flyin' Saucers Rock & Roll: The Cosmic Genius of Sam Phillips opens Friday, Aug. 28, and runs through June 12 at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum)

Running to Stand Still: Ruby Amanfu takes center stage on solo debut (Standing Still out Friday, Aug. 28, on Thirty Tigers/Rival & Co. Records; playing Saturday, Aug. 29, at The High Watt)

Keb' Mo' Moves Ahead: More than 20 years after his debut, Keb' Mo' refuses to be boxed in by the blues (Playing Friday, Aug. 28, at the Schermerhorn)

Girls Just Wanna Have Songs: Maddie & Tae's long-awaited debut shows promise but falls short (Start Here
out Friday, Aug. 28, via Republic Records/Dot Records)

In The Spin: William Tyler and Friends at The Stone Fox; Wick-It the Instigator at The Basement East

Plus Critics' Picks on Live on the Green, Tinariwen, Steve Lewis, The Dexateens, Old Crow Medicine Show, Donna McElroy, Pony Boy, Social Distortion, Bitchfest 5, Rayland Baxter, Rock 'n' Roll 'n' Roller Skatin', ZZ Top w/Blackberry Smoke, The Glitch Mob and more 

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

East Side Social Expands Lineup

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 4:28 PM

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Remember East Side Social, the badass-sounding one-day festival in East Park that got postponed due to weather, then got rescheduled for Oct. 3? That rescheduling announcement came simultaneously with the news that original co-headliners The Features were indeed still on the show, but left the rest of the bill a mystery.

Mystery solved! The marquee has been filled out with a nice range of locals: Dance rock machines The Future, soul shouter Alanna Royale and band, deft rockers Justin and the Cosmics, power-popper Reno Bo and country-tinged songstress extraordinaire Lilly Hiatt will all perform.

Gates open at noon, and there'll be a slew of food trucks on hand. Even better, your $10 regular ticket (on sale now, and a bargain; they'll be $15 at the gate) or $35 VIP (which includes food, drinks and a VIP tent) benefits the Nashville chapter of CASA, a nonprofit agency that trains volunteers to support abused and neglected children, and the ASMBA Star Foundation, which funds grants for nonprofits that serve veterans. 

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WXNA Kickstarter Campaign Beefs up Incentives

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 2:47 PM

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Nashville may well be the only city in America in which a popular rock radio station was replaced by a classical one. In 2011, Vanderbilt University’s terrific WRVU, 91 Rock, became WFCL, Classical 91 One, with predictably dismal results. In place of WRVU’s unpredictable (and often delightfully heretical) mix of R&B, Americana, folk, hip-hop and rock, the new station piped out endless hours of homogenous classical wallpaper music. WFCL, with its penchant for breaking up multi-movement masterpieces into bite-sized excerpts, became just one more McClassical station, offering the same dreary sameness heard at seemingly every other public radio franchise in the country.

Connoisseurs of adventurous radio, as such, were no doubt relieved to learn that WRVU would live again, this time as a new, nonprofit community station called WXNA-FM. A group of former WRVU DJs and friends were recently granted a low-power FM license and construction permit. And earlier this month, the group launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn its ambitious plans into a reality.

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Caption Contest: Old Crow Medicine Show Ticket Giveaway! [Updated]

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 12:37 PM

click to enlarge Chicken? No, I fed them fish. - PHOTO VIA IZISMILE
  • Photo via Izismile
  • Chicken? No, I fed them fish.

Sure, Ketch Secor & Co. may be best known for the Dylan cover/co-write that became the ubiquitous "Wagon Wheel," but they throw a helluva shindig. Contributor Jewly Hight has some words on what they've been up to in tomorrow's Scene, but to paraphrase: they've been on the road with Willie Nelson, the king baller of laid-back country showmanship, and you can bet their show at Ascend Amphitheater on Friday will show off what they've picked up.

How would you like to go — for free? Just come up with the most chuckle-inducing caption for the above photo and enter it into the comments below. Be sure to enter your email address in the appropriate field; we won't publish it, but we will need it in order to contact our winner. Our panel of judges will pick the funniest caption Friday at noon, so watch your inbox. Phasers set to pun? Let's get it on!

Update: We have our winner. Thanks for playing!

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Catch Montreal Anarcho-Punks Malokio Tonight at Blackbird Tattoo and Gallery

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Malokio - PHOTO: DARRYL REID
  • Photo: Darryl Reid
  • Malokio

Ever been to Maine? It’s great. It’s like Tennessee’s own Appalachian tourist town Gatlinburg, but with fewer swords and more lobster. But it’s also kind of like Canada’s Florida, so you can expect some weird redneck-y shit to go down — but in French. It makes for a rad vacation. But just like anywhere else, sometimes redneck shenanigans can grow tiresome and you need to passive-aggressively communicate your displeasure, even across language barriers. Which makes me wish I’d had a copy of Montreal anarcho-punks Malokio’s Senza Scampo with me while I was camping in the Maine woods last week. Malokio’s breakneck-paced melodic punk rock perfectly communicates discontent and anger across said barriers. That’s even better than speaking loudly and using your hands in a close but not entirely real approximation of sign language!

Malokio are joined at Blackbird Tattoo and Gallery tonight by Cali d-beat crew Torso, local fuzz-punks Modern Convenience and crossover thrash newcomers Switchblade. The show is only five bucks and it starts at 9 p.m.

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