As our music blog, Nashville Cream, turns 5 years old, we look back, look forward and toot our own horn 

The Only Blog That Matters

The Only Blog That Matters

"Nashville Cream wouldn't exist without NashvilleZine. They are the Joni Mitchell to our Liz Phair," says Jezebel contributor and former Nashvillian Tracy Moore. The onetime Scene music editor and founder of the Scene's music blog, Nashville Cream, ushered the music faction of our humble paper's editorial department into the contentious music blogosphere, but she's also one to give credit where credit is due. "I could be mis-remembering here with the haze of nostalgia, but what I remember the most about the Zine was that it was hilarious, snarky and anonymous, and something about that combination made people say the most riotously funny and true things about the local rock scene."

But in 2006, after two years of snarked-out perma-maelstrom, NashvilleZine founder Todd Anderson shut the independent local-music blog down, opting to focus on other projects. As Moore puts it, NashvilleZine's departure left "a gaping hole in the music scene where our snarky hearts had once been." So Moore convinced the Scene's then-editor-in-chief Liz Garrigan — after an extensive bit of poking and prodding — to permit the launch of a local rock-centric music blog. Christened Nashville Cream, the blog launched on Aug. 23, 2006.

Blogging, at this point, certainly wasn't anything new. Weblogs had been around for the better part of a decade, and the Scene's news blog, Pith in the Wind, had existed since early 2005. But as Moore points out, extensive coverage of local music wasn't something you could easily find in local media, and the music-blogging game was still in its infancy — most of the blogs that already existed were known for posting MP3s and little more. And with exciting things happening in the Nashville rock community — The Pink Spiders, The Features, Kings of Leon, Be Your Own Pet and De Novo Dahl, among others, were inking major label deals in the mid-Aughts — the conversation was going to be happening one way or another. The hope for the Cream was to be a forum for that conversation.

In its early days, Nashville Cream was a news source just as much as it was a medium for juvenile jokes and goofy local memes. Comment frenzies would ensue — whether over a White Stripes secret show announcement or concerns that an established national act might have lifted a chord progression from a local band — making the comments sections living, breathing (and frequently seething) reflections of the tumultuous local scene. And for young Nashvillian rock fans, the Cream was the only source for accessible opining, criticism, gossip and weed/fart jokes alike. Readers could find out about secret shows and leaked tracks just as easily as they could read and comment about Jemina Pearl's fashion sense.

Of course, as readers have come to expect more from blogs, the Cream has evolved right along with our readership's expectations. Plus, we have the benefit of journalistic integrity on our side — as much integrity as a bunch of snarky alt-weekly writers can have, anyway. (Wink.) And while we can't catch everything, we still — through our own self-administered cool/noteworthy filter — fill the blog with news bits, critical analysis and weed/fart jokes alike.

Saturday night, we celebrate Nashville Cream's fifth anniversary with a performance from beloved indie-pop architects The Features (whose praises the Cream has sung since day one), folk-pop songstress Tristen (whose praises we've sung for a couple of years now), and lively rock 'n' roll sparkplug Evan P. Donohue (whose praises we've been singing for several months). It all goes down at Jack White's Third Man Records, and we hope to see you there. (We won't be selling tickets to walk-ups, so we hope you've already got a pair ... so to speak.) Here's to another five years.

Email music@nashvillescene.com.

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