It's been a year since longtime emo-pop purveyors and Middle Tennessee natives Paramore — "Nashville's first rock band to go platinum since the Reagan era," as Creamster Adam Gold once put it — released their self-titled fourth album. It's been five months since their somewhat under-sold homecoming show at Bridgestone Arena, and three months since the released their locally shot "Ain't It Fun" video, in which they break a bunch of arbitrary world records (before the thought had even occurred to Jack White ... maybe). So then, I guess it's about time their record cycle brings them to the late-night circuit.
Last night, frontwoman Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis, guitarist Taylor York and a handful of hired Paramore guns played the aforementioned "Ain't It Fun" on Late Night With Seth Meyers. We could talk about the fact that "Fun" sounds more like a, say, Katy Perry or classic Paula Abdul cut than anything you could pop the "emo" tag onto, but that's old hat. Instead, let's talk about that mad-mugging, wild-flailing, floppy-haired ginger drummer* back there. I swear, Meyers' crew cuts to that guy almost more than they do to Williams. Maybe such egregious outbursts are why Meyers has capped musical performances on his show at two per week. Keep on keepin' on, ginger drummer bro. Your antics definitely kept me from changing the channel last night.
* Philip Obenschain points out that the drummer in question is "Nashville resident Aaron Gillespie (The Almost, ex-Underoath), indefinitely filling in for Miles McPherson, on drums."
And so with that in mind — from an on-the-fly, by-request cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” to the first stateside performance of “Born in the U.S.A.” in five years — here are some of the show’s highlights crowd-sourced from YouTube (after the jump).
Whole New Groove: Guitarists William Tyler and Steve Gunn make rock that combines historical awareness with innovation (William Tyler and Steve Gunn Playing April 29 at The Stone Fox; William Tyler's Lost Colony out April 29 via Merge Records)
Happy Ending Massage: Electro prankster Tobacco finds muscle-relaxant bliss with his ugliest album yet (Playing April 30 at Mercy Lounge)
The Evolution of Men: Perpetual shape-shifters The Men continue to toy with their sound (Playing April 29 at The End)
The Case for Poptimism: How Japanese psych rockers Acid Mothers Temple and, say, Miley Cyrus inhabit the same musical universe (Playing April 28 at The High Watt)
In The Spin: Bruce Springsteen at Bridgestone Arena, Jack White records the "world's fastest record" at Third Man Records
Plus Critics’ Picks on Punk Palooza at The Other Basement, The Zombies, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, Black Tar Prophet’s release show, Katie Herzig’s release show, The Coathangers with Breast Massage, the Whole Lotta Shakes Going On benefit, Mono, Tom Jones, HAIM, Schoolboy Q with Isaiah Rashaad, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, EMA, Graveyard, Local Natives and more
"Mind vs. Matter" is a sinisterly funny, tongue-in-cheek tale about dating and women, told from the point of view of the provocative Homeboy Sandman. The new single is currently available to download for free via Soundcloud. So download it before the world ends. Also, it's not too late to digitally purchase The Orchid Days via Bandcamp, or purchase the vinyl, which is still available in "clear, black and grey splatter."
Oh, also, be on the lookout for Homeboy Sandman, who will play Foobar June 4.
Regular Cream readers are likely familiar with Nashville's clown princes of butt rock, LazerSnake. The band that I once described as a "nightmarish, tongue-in-cheek, Ed Hardy-graphic-T-clad, wig-donning parody of everything that’s wrong with Music Row’s version of 'rock ’n’ roll'" has been known to do things like crashing a Kings of Leon party. All in a day's troll for frontman Dusty Forsythe and his band of active-rocking jokers.
Well, it looks like the 'Snake recently took their troll game to a whole new level. Familiar with the Nat Geo program Drugs, Inc.? As you might infer from its title, the show explores the "multi-billion-dollar industry that fuels crime and violence like no other substance on the planet." The Season 4 finale of Drugs — which, I'm sorry to say, I only just discovered despite its airing back in October — profiles Music City in an episode titled, brilliantly, "Stashville, Tennessee." You'll find the entire episode embedded above. And amid all the presumably legit footage of meth cooks and task forces, you'll find LazerSnake. A fake band (featuring members of real band AutoVaughn) in wigs. Buying (real?) drugs on a National Geographic program.
Dusty & Co.'s segment begins at the 15:00 mark. In case you weren't aware, LazerSnake guitarist "Jeremy Forsythe" was busted for selling weed a while back (except no, really). Anyway, watch the LOL-worthy clip above, and see some of the more choice quotes after the jump. Also, this particular episode of Drugs, Inc. will air again on April 30; you've got a full week to round up your pals for a viewing party.
Best Buds has three memorable singles from three uniquely different bands. Pope’s “Animal” is a poppy grunge song with deadpan vocals and a slight New Wave bounce. “Mac Harris” by NOUNS chaotically swings between hardcore and emo, all amid a flurry of emotions. And finally there’s “Placebo Love,” the first official single from rachel. “Placebo Love” is sparse and pensive, so much so that it almost teeters on noise. And lead singer Robbie Plackemeier’s pulsating vocals are at times so affected that they’re nearly indistinguishable from his screeching guitar.
Three-hundred copies were pressed for the first run of Best Buds. The vinyl doesn’t ship out until July, but the split is now available for pre-order and free digital download via Paco Tapes' Bandcamp page. Stream all three tracks below.
Much like longtime British post-punks The Fall, Detroit’s Protomartyr makes an often sinister breed of rock music that entwines creative guitar work with an aggressive punch and half-spoken vocals. On their brand-new Under Color of Official Right, Protomartyr plows through sturdy bass lines and bursts of jagged, punky guitar licks as frontman Joe Casey opines about “adults dressed as children” and “do-nothing know-it-alls.” “If it’s violent, good,” Casey croons on “Violent.” “ ’Cuz if it’s violent, it’s understood.” Official Right is mostly melodious, brooding midtempo post-punk (as with “Trust Me Billy”), and occasionally menacing, full-bore punk rock (as with “Son of Dis”), but it’s always pretty good. And speaking of The Fall, Jeffrey Novak of local faves Cheap Time has caught more than one comparison to Fall frontman Mark E. Smith. That’s pretty high praise in our book, but don’t get it twisted: Both Protomartyr and Cheap Time do more than just tap those punk-rock touchstones. Whatever Brains will also perform.
Tonight's show at The Stone Fox costs $7 and starts at 9 p.m. Above you can see a clip from the Ann Arbor, Mich., installment of The AV Club's "Pioneering" performance series, which features Protomartyr. Head over to The AV Club to see Protomartyr's full performance of the classic Stooges tune "Down on the Street," and stay tuned for Those Darlins' "Pioneering" session, which is scheduled to drop May 5.
Back in February, we shared with you a performance of Tom Petty's "Walls (Circus)" courtesy of local performer Andrew Leahey and a roomful of his friends. As I explained at the time, the performance took place weeks before Leahey underwent surgery to remove an acoustic neuroma (that's "a brain tumor that sits on top of your hearing nerve"). According to Leahey, there was a 50 percent chance he'd lose all his hearing as a result of the procedure. "I had nearly three months between my diagnosis and my surgery, which gave me a lot of downtime to freak the hell out," Leahey tells the Cream. "I figured the best medicine was to play a ton of shows with a ton of good people, so I booked a California tour for the fall, then booked a bunch of Nashville shows too, then went ahead and booked a three-week tour to take place after the operation."
Somewhere amid all those shows, Leahey and his band The Homestead sat down to film an installment of Fender's Airstream performance series, which — you guessed it — takes place in an Airstream. Watch Leahey and the Homestead do "Shot" above, and click on through after the jump to see them play "Little in Love."
"If there's one good thing about a brain tumor, it's the fact that it puts everything else into perspective. I enjoyed the shit out of my band that night," says Leahey, referring to the last show he and his band played before the surgery. "And I've enjoyed the shit out of them ever since. Those guys (and girl) are the shit. Can I say 'shit' here?" You sure as shit can!
Late legendary songwriter Hank Cochran, ivory ticklin’ country soul crooner Ronnie Milsap and golden-voiced bluegrass journeyman Mac Wiseman are the 2014 inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Country Music Association announced at a press conference the Hall hosted in Nashville this morning.
Wait … Hank Cochran wasn’t already in the Country Music Hall of Fame?! Astounding, seeing as how the late singer-songwriter — who perished in 2010 — penned classic weepers for George Jones, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, George Strait, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, Linda Rondstadt and others. Such gems include “I Fall to Pieces,” “The Chair,” “She’s Got You,” “It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad)” and “Don’t Touch Me” — a song made famous by Cochran’s fourth (and penultimate) wife, Jeannie Seely.
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