Happy Tuesday. Tonight we have two very dissimilar options on deck as far as rock shows are concerned: Zachary Cole Smith's hip and happening shoegaze-y indie-rock outfit DIIV at Exit/In, and Texas thrashers/Southern Lord Recordings signees Power Trip at The Stone Fox. We've got features on both acts in the most recent dead-tree edition of the Scene. Follow me after the jump to see excerpts from each, plus videos and details and all that sort of thing.
First, we caught Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan’s latest project, the Nashville-affiliated Spanish Gold, at its mid-Saturday main-stage set and spotted MMJ singer Jim James in a VIP cocktail lounge hours later. Second, the festival boasted a Bourbon Lodge where for a fee you could sample sweet vice from across The Bluegrass State. (We tried to take advantage of that, but were perhaps already a little too soused at that point to properly figure out the seemingly convoluted ticketing and mixology system.) Lastly — yes, this is a reach, we know — Louisville’s Muhammad Ali Center is a hop, skip and a jump from Louisville Waterfront Park, Forecastle’s venue since 2010. Anyway, where else can you catch raver kids swirling glowsticks and “making some fucking noise” on command to the bro-aggro sounds of intensely shirtless, almost comically messianic EMD DJ MiMOSA at an after-party on a swankily preserved, heavily varnished 100-year-old steamboat where Fitzgerald-esque fucks probably used to dance the foxtrot?
Up-and-coming Nashville hip-hop artists Dee Goodz and Ducko McFli are back with a new collaboration, “It Couldn’t Be Done.” Both artists have achieved career milestones this year, with the former being featured on HBO’s Game of Thrones mixtape and the latter producing Drake’s “Draft Day”, among other things.
Their new track addresses these milestones, as well as the naysayers who said it couldn’t be done. For Dee Goodz, “It Couldn’t Be Done” serves as a precursor to The AllGoodz Company Presents: Don Jovi, an upcoming compilation of unreleased music that will drop on Aug 4. His output lately has been relentless, to say the least. Dee is also promising to announce a release date for his album Family. Friends. Money. sometime next week. The first single is called “Real Thing,” and the music video is slated for release soon. Stay tuned. Stream “It Couldn’t Be Done” below, or download it via Soundcloud while you’re at it.
The way we figure it, there are two main schools of musical improvisation. Being the pragmatists that we are, The Spin admires improvisers who hew to structure while enlarging the scope of that framework. We also like the way other improvisers subtly imply structure or, at times, ignore it. Since we were raised on rock 'n’ roll, we value forward motion as first principle, and that velocity was evident throughout guitarists William Tyler and Peter Walker’s Friday night performances in Third Man Records’ Blue Room. Both musicians took the solo-guitar aesthetic to new places, and the tension between structure and freedom made their sets fascinating examples of an all-American primitivism that pioneering guitarist and Takoma Records founder John Fahey likely would have found bracing.
This is part of what makes Robin Carnage’s Odes EP so intriguing. When the Vancouver native decided to make an “odes” EP that pays tribute to gangster music of the 21st century, he was undertaking an ambitious task. There’s no right or wrong way to approach something so expansive. Nonetheless, Carnage’s approach is sharp and insightful, deftly trekking through touchstones of Southern trap, East Coast gangster rap, West Coast gangster rap, and Chicago drill music.
Carnage’s Odes is a personal story, and one that features hallmarks from his own evolution. Of the EP’s seven tracks, three are G-Unit Records songs. While this might seem odd, the first of these tracks is “Ode to Tennessee,” a re-imagining of Young Buck’s “Shorty Wanna Ride.” The airy piano chords layered on top of delicate trap snares completely reinvent the neo-classic, while at the same time injecting it with a giant dose of nostalgia and melancholy. Young Buck has always been this adopted Nashvillian’s favorite member of the Unit; artistic evolutions often come full circle.
If there’s any good news to be taken away from the recent announcement of NYC-based indie-rock troupe The Walkmen’s “extreme hiatus,” it’s that at least the band’s members might now put out twice as much material. On June 3, frontman Hamilton Leithauser released his solo debut, Black Hours, and just three weeks later, bassist/organist Peter Matthew Bauer dropped Liberation! Die-hard fans of The Walkmen will be happy to know that aside from Leithauser’s powerhouse croon, Bauer’s record features all the hallmarks of your standard standout Walkmen record — from reverb-slathered guitars and big, catchy melodies to sundry percussion and rich organs. Littered with song titles like “Irish Wake in Varanasi (For Big Pete Devlin),” “Latin American Ficciones,” “Philadelphia Raga” and “Istanbul Field Recording,” Liberation! feels like a well-traveled tourist’s photo album documenting stops at the homes of Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Keith Richards and Bono. Let’s see how it sounds live.
Honey Locust and Skyler Skjelset will open tonight's show at The High Watt, which starts at 8 p.m. and costs $10.
Local ambient/experimental group Hammock doesn't release a ton of videos, but when they do, it's a special occasion. This piece for "Sinking Inside Yourself," a cut from their 2011 album Asleep in the Downlights, is no exception. If something about it seems hauntingly familiar, you have been paying attention: Director David Altobelli also did their gorgeous 2012 video for "Cold Front," which featured the same actress. Though the songs are from different albums, the beautifully shot clip carries the themes of loss and longing over the divide in a quietly cinematic fashion that suits the song to the proverbial "T." You need something to help you wind down before you wade into traffic, so take a few minutes to soak this one in before you call it a week.
If you live within a day's drive of Holly Springs, Mississippi, there's a good chance you've seen the name Paul McLeod pop up in your news feed over the past 48 hours. Odds are somewhat slimmer, however, that you recognize the name.
Let's not bury the lede here. The aforementioned resident of the aforementioned Mississippi town — a population of fewer than 10,000 that resides 50 miles southeast of Memphis — was found dead on his front porch Thursday morning. McLeod was 70 years old, and according to Marshall County Coroner James Richard Anderson, he appears to have died of natural causes. Just 36 hours before, he had shot and killed a man by the name of Dwight David Taylor Jr., who was apparently attempting to enter McLeod's home.
The timing of McLeod's death indeed seems suspicious. But McLeod's attorney has been quoted as saying "his ill health, combined with the stress from ... tragedy, lead me to believe it was a very unfortunate natural occurrence."
The name of McLeod's home was and is Graceland Too, and for a quarter century the Holly Springs native opened the house to the public as the world's foremost bastion of Elvis memorabilia. It was open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and if you had $5, you could come on in for a tour.
"Even on Christmas?"
Even on Christmas.
Nashville's reigning Best Local Band, Natural Child, has been road-dogging it out the wazoo lately, bringing their hard-boogying brand of rock 'n' roll to folks all across this great land of ours. That didn't stop the boys from shooting a simple but effective video for their tune "Firewater Liquor," however. The song is a driving, grooving cut from this year's excellent Dancin' With Wolves, and the lo-fi video — which premiered this morning via The AV Club — shows NC playing in what appears to be their rehearsal space as random sports and news clips play on the television in the background. Conveniently enough, the vid also features subtitles, in case you want to go karaoke style on the Child.
Natural Child's next slated in-town gig is Aug. 7 at Mercy Lounge with fellow local rock 'n' rollers Faux Ferocious. That's the same night as Miley Cyrus' make-up gig at Bridgestone Arena — tough call. Dancin' With Wolves is available for purchase in an assortment of formats via Burger Records.
"This building has been for sale for 24 years. All of the building's tenants knew that," writes Bradley. Ben Folds, who has been very vocal about saving the building and about why he hasn't been able to purchase it himself, is of course one of the tenants in question. Bradley also notes that he, his brother and Chet Atkins purchased the building in 1963 with the "hope of, eventually, selling the property for a profit."
"We have a building that is not worth saving," says Bradley at the conclusion of the letter. "The inadequate design and condition of the office space makes it difficult to lease; It's in desperate need of systems upgrades, making it expensive to maintain because it's falling apart. ... There are other studios in town that deserve to be preserved — and our family has done just that with several of them. We respectfully request that our property rights be respected and we be allowed to proceed with the sale with no interference."
See the full text of Bradley's letter (plus a cover letter from Bradley's attorney, Thomas V. White) in PDF form here or after the jump.
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