Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Top 10 Nashville-Centric Letterman Performances

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 5:02 PM

Last night, living legend David Letterman bade farewell to the American viewing public with the final episode of The Late Show. The episode marked the end of an era, and there's certainly been no dearth of tributes, think pieces and round-ups homaging the comedic genius around the show's airing. So how about another?!

Music City has had more than a few brushes with Letterman throughout his tenure behind the Late Show desk. There was the time The Ettes' Coco Hames played with The New Pornographers (I was there!), or the time Richie Kirkpatrick backed Jessica Lea Mayfield. Also making showings on The Late Show in recent years were Moon Taxi, The Whigs, Kings of Leon and Mikky Ekko. Not to mention that time back in the '90s when Letterman flew an entirely Nashvillian audience in to watch the show, or that time in 2013 when he talked to Sheryl Crow about East Nashville.

This Top 10 list comes with a couple of caveats: Unfortunately, most Late Show performances older than a decade or so are nowhere to be found online, so we're only going to round up 10 clips that are currently on the Internet; also, this is simply a list of my personal faves, so feel free to let me know what I missed in the comments.

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Jack White Fields Fan Questions, Defends Tidal

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 3:01 PM

In this week’s dead-tree edition of the Scene, I attempt to counter the ongoing avalanche of backlash piling onto Jay Z and his new streaming service Tidal from a consumer perspective. Going into its third month, the site continues to struggle against adversity from many music fans who've admittedly never actually used the thing.

Yesterday, local music mogul and Tidal shareholder Jack White chimed in, responding to questions submitted by Third Man Records Vault members as well as fans on Facebook on TMR’s website. A great deal of the questions weren't actually questions, just comments, which White addressed nonetheless, but even when phrased interrogatively, White’s answers don’t always provide direct answers. Regardless, JW definitely drops some sound opinions that have been missing from all the Tidal talk, often using the double standard we have with the film industry as a parallel comparison.

"How much did you pay for that last movie you saw at the theater?" White asked rhetorically. "And how much did that movie cost to make? Don't devalue musicians, man, support them. Making records is expensive, believe us, I don't see people saying we should go to the movies for free, or Netflix should be free. that state of music is in flux, be on the side of supporting creativity, not taking from it. [Tidal] gives you that chance.

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Night Beds Get Revenge in 'Tide Teeth' [Fresh Vid]

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Ivywild, a collection of 16 new tracks from Night Beds, the project of singer-songwriter/auteur Winston Yellen, is due to drop Aug. 7. In the run up to the release, the slow trickle of new tracks has made for some interesting listening. The electro-tinged R&B of "Me Liquor & God" and "Tide Teeth" is a big change from the dreamy Americana inflection of 2013's Country Sleep, but the swirling, fluttering beats are a perfect fit for frontman Winston Yellen's haunted tenor.

In addition to Yellen, the album features his younger brother Abe and vocalist Heather Hibbard, who Yellen contacted after seeing her cover one of his songs on YouTube. While you wait for the LP, check out the striking video above for "Tide Teeth," directed by Dan Huiting. It's perfectly safe for work, but be warned: It is an unnerving portrayal of abuse, followed by fiery reprisal.


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Fun Facts From RCA Studio A’s National Register of Historic Places Application

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 1:29 PM

30 Music Square West
Thirty Music Square West — the building housing RCA Studio A — took a big step yesterday in its journey from potential condo redevelopment atrocity to treasured Music Row landmark. The Tennessee State Review Board voted to endorse an application to place the building on the National Register of Historic Places. The application now awaits federal approval from the National Park Service, which could come come as early as this summer.

The 48-page nomination application was prepared by Carroll Van West at the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and contains detailed information about the building’s structure, location, architecture and most fascinating (for die-hard music history nerds like myself), a 21-page narrative history of the building's first 25 of its now 50-year history, from its construction in 1965 until 1990.

Read on after the jump for some fun musical facts from the report, or pour through the whole damn thing right here.

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Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Jawws, Tidal and More: Inside This Week's Music Section

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 7:45 AM

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear
  • Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear
Parental Advisory: How Music City put mother-and-son duo Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear on the fast track to Americana stardom

Roll Tidal: I signed up for Jay Z's streaming service and all I got was this damn good audio quality and exclusive content

Sons of Anarchy: Notes and photos from local teenage punk troupe Jawws' tour opening for The Offspring

Perfect Pitch: As he pitches his way back to the big leagues, Nashville Sounds starter Barry Zito finds himself in the perfect town to scratch his music itch

In The Spin: FIDLAR, METZ and Broken Bats at Mercy Lounge

Plus Critics' Picks on J. Roddy Walston and the Business, May Day 2015, Tour de Fun, Ton-Up Brit Bike Bash, Kai Welch, "Weird Al” Yankovic, Kaleo, The Rentals, Music City Blues Festival, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, New Kids on the Block and more

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bid on a Rare Pete Townshend Recording Made in Nashville

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 4:49 PM

Last week, The Who rocked the bell bottoms off the audience at Bridgestone Arena, but their visit to Music City didn't end there. Pete Townshend also spent some time at Nations neighborhood recording studio Welcome to 1979, where he cut a version of the Quadrophenia classic "I'm One" from live to lathe. The end result: a one-of-a-kind acetate master recording, which is currently being auctioned off in support of the charity Teen Cancer America, a U.S. offshoot of the U.K.'s Teen Cancer Trust (notably NOT part of the cancer charity fraud scandal that broke yesterday. You should always vet your charities, so check out Teen Cancer America's website).

There are technically three takes of the song, but it's the best take that's being offered in this Crowdrise auction; hear Townshend play one of the others above (note: the volume is really low, so you'll have to crank it a bit). Each $25 you donate gets you one chance at owning the acetate (sounds more like a raffle than an auction, but let's not split hairs). If you like the cause but don't care about the recording, donate in increments of $10 to win a 1992 Schecter PT electric guitar signed by Eddie Vedder, who recently played a benefit for Teen Cancer America with The Who in Chicago. Act fast! The auction ends tomorrow, May 21, at noon Eastern (11 a.m. Central).


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Diarrhea Planet and The Features to Rock the East Side Social Fest

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 2:25 PM

Diarrhea Planet (top); The Features (bottom)
  • Diarrhea Planet (top); The Features (bottom)

Summer concert season is officially in full swing. Fuller swing than usual, actually. Thanks in no small part to the accommodating space The Basement East, more and more of shows are finally flooding to the East Side, along with basically every thing and everyone else.

Announced earlier today, local lifestyle mag The East Nashvillian is throwing the East Side Social on June 20th — an outdoor shindig held in East Park (home of the Hot Chicken Festival) intended to celebrate “one of the city’s most vibrant communities,"showcase local music and raise money for a good cause. In an epic pairing, local six-piece party punks Diarrhea Planet and veteran Middle Tennessee underdogs The Features will co-headline, raising money for CASA Nashville — a non-profit that helps abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes.

Requisite food and beer vendors will be on hand. Tickets (available here) are $15 for general admission and $35 for VIP. So, kids under 12 might get two kinds of diarrhea, they also get in free.

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The Week in Fresh Tracks [Rayland Baxter, Sol Cat, Kopecky, Slick and Booby Hatch]

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 11:53 AM

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

This time, we've got glam, slick contemporary pop, dance-conscious grooves, folk-tinged pan-American tunes and good old-fashioned hardcore punk on the menu. Several of the tracks are solid choices for your summer jam playlist, but they'll also hold up well after the boys of summer are gone — better than that song, even. Let's dig in, shall we?

Rayland Baxter, "Yellow Eyes"

Last we heard from Rayland Baxter, he was doing a short set for Audiotree Live. "Yellow Eyes" is the first single from his sophomore LP. Like much of Baxter's work — and really most of the best songwriting — it tells a complex story in a way that feels effortless and breezy. You can float through the song on warm currents of steel guitar and electric piano, or if you like, you can really start interrogating the lyric, a confession from a guy with persistent commitment issues. Is his recognition of the pain he causes the first step down the path to redemption, or just another excuse to run? Imaginary Man is due August 14 from ATO Records, and you can see Baxter with The Weeks and a slew of other bands at Cannery Ballroom next Monday, May 25; the show is free, but you have to RSVP here.

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Watch Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn Cover 'The Final Countdown' [Fresh Vid]

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 11:05 AM

Get that invisible-orange-hoisting arm warmed up! Banjo maestros Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn dropped by the offices of The Onion's A.V. Club to file an entry in the "Undercover" video series, in which artists pick a song to cover from a editorially curated list that shrinks as the season goes on. The couple are only the second group to perform for this season, so they had plenty of choices, and they made a great one: "The Final Countdown," the triumphant, synth-centric pop-metal anthem that was a smash-hit for Swedish hair-farmers Europe in 1986. The song, which you're sure to know if you've even driven past a stadium or arena in the last 30 years, revels in being as over-the-top as a baroque opera, and Fleck and Washburn's instrumental take plays that up nicely. If you feel inclined to hold up a lighter, just keep it away from your hair.


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Road Trip to Atlanta: Faith No More and Refused Play Masquerade July 30

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 9:52 AM

Looking to take a road trip this summer? Well here's a real great reason to brave the four(ish)-hour drive down to Atlanta — Faith No More and Refused play Masquerade Music Park on July 30! It's a hell of a pairing, but sadly it looks like they won't be coming to Nashville. So get in the car!

Faith No More just released their comeback album Sol Invictus, their first LP in nearly 20 years. Watch them perform "Superhero" on The Tonight Show above and hear another new song, "Motherfucker," here.

Refused have new material coming, too. Their new album Freedom arrives June 30 and you can hear the first single, "Elektra," at (I've seen some folks say they don't like it, but what are you dudes talking about? It's great!)

If you want to save money on gas and stay local this summer, there's still plenty happening in town to keep your ears buzzing. Check out this week's Scene for a slew of shows we're excited for, including Weird Al! Rolling Stones! Shania Twain! Wiz Khalifa (with Fall Out Boy?!?)! There are also some very rad (and not-so-rad) acts coming to the Ascend Amphitheater, which opens July 30. All the details are right here.


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