Back for its third year in a row, garage-rock mini-fest Freakin' Weekend — booked and hosted by local DIY punk blog Nashville's Dead — has grown out of infancy, and is now toddling around the Rock Block with some of the dirtiest, dingiest local and touring rock acts you're liable to see this spring. Freakin' Weekend takes place through Saturday at The End and Exit/In, with a daytime pop-up shop at vintage retail space Local Honey. See a round-up of all the FW shows below.
While they're likely best known for lending their rhythm section to Jack White's The Raconteurs, Nashville-by-way-of-Cincinnati garage-rock trio The Greenhornes have a decade-plus worth of tunes that most certainly stand on their own. Most notably, 2010's made it clear that frontman Craig Fox & Co. are devoted students of vintage psych and garage rock — you'll detect obvious Yardbirds, Sonics, Kinks and Troggs influence, plus a little bit of Southern soul, if you're listening carefully enough. Rounding out the bill: brainy garage punk Daniel Pujol and his PUJOL, whose Nasty, Brutish and Short EP was released last year via Saddle Creek to much critical acclaim; Ranch Ghost, who do the gritty psych-rock thing with much authenticity; swampy barroom blues-rock outfit Denney and the Jets; and newcomers Dirty Dreams, who make a dreamy and pleasant sort of garage pop.
This year's Freakin' Weekend pop-up shop will be open at Local Honey (2009 Belmont Blvd.) and will feature posters, T-shirts and other merch, plus releases from labels including Nashville's Dead Records, Infinity Cat Recordings, Third Man Records, Turbo Time Records, Sturdy Girls, Cass Records, Sebastian Speaks Records, Jeffrey Drag Records, Baby Don't Records and more. See nashvillesdead.com for a full list of merch and records. Saturday's daytime show will kick off at 3 p.m. and feature sets from reunited local post-punkers So Jazzy and punk youngster Asher Horton.
At one point, nary a week went by in which you couldn't find local fraternal monsters of psych-punk riffage JEFF the Brotherhood inspiring mosh pits and stage dives in some packed Nashville venue or basement. But the success of last year's We Are the Champions has kept the Orrall Brothers on the road for the past several months — in fact, they haven't played in Music City since opening for The Raconteurs at The Ryman on Sept. 15 and headlining Soundland 2011's Neuhoff Factory Party nine days after that. Tonight they make their triumphant return, headlining an all-local bill that also features: breakneck punk-rock behemoth Cy Barkley and his Way Outsiders; surfy psych rockers D. Watusi; prolific local-punk poster boy Seth Sutton and his angular, post-punky Useless Eaters; and cool-beyond-their-years high school garage-rock duo Fox Fun.
On Saturday, Local Honey will once again be peddling all the aforementioned merch and music, plus there will be performances from hardcore-punk outfit Slammers — something of a local "supergroup," featuring members of Heavy Cream, Cy Barkley and the Way Outsiders, JEFF the Brotherhood and more — plus New York's Habibi (who fall somewhere between The Slits and Blondie) and Ogg, who Nashville's Dead describes as "Nashville's best-kept power-pop secret."
While San Francisco's Ty Segall has made a name for himself in recent years as a psychedelic leader of the garage-revival movement with his solo project, his surfy lo-fi outfit, The Traditional Fools, is significantly more laid-back and groove-oriented. That said, any performance featuring Segall is destined to be wild and rollicking. Fellow Californian Mikal Cronin frequently plays in Segall's live band — and vice versa — and his recent set during the punk-rock-festival-at-sea Bruise Cruise was easily among the most musically impressive. Fingers crossed he plays his cover of Wreckless Eric's "Whole Wide World" again, even if that was a purposely tropical-themed cover selection. Also on the bill are locals Heavy Cream — who I liken to a lady-fronted Ramones, rather than being lazy and just saying "The Runaways" — noisy punk-rock Brooklynites The Men and local hardcore punkers Cannomen.
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