In 2011, Nashville's music scene was deemed the best in the country by Rolling Stone. This year, we saw the very same scene bloom even further, thanks to nationally distributed releases by homegrown acts, heavyweight collaborations between superstars and up-and-comers alike, the birth of brand-new model-defying record labels and a prime-time network drama that sheds light — albeit cartoonishly — on the country music machine at the heart of our fair Music City. Garage-born punk rockers like JEFF the Brotherhood and PUJOL inked label deals and released full-lengths, while nationally acclaimed superstars the likes of The Black Keys, Jack White, Taylor Swift and Ke$ha toured behind chart-topping new LPs. Outside the major-label sphere, performers including Jessie Baylin, Diamond Rugs and Hammock released exceptional new albums, while longtime Nashville denizens Lambchop issued one of their finest long-players yet, and rock 'n' rollers Natural Child put out two — count 'em, two — excellent records. The Keys' Dan Auerbach produced the latest efforts from JEFF as well as NOLA legend Dr. John (among others), while Kings of Leon's Serpents & Snakes imprint released Turbo Fruits' Butter, and Brendan Benson launched his Readymade Records. Meanwhile, out-of-towners including Jason Isbell, The Whigs, Lindi Ortega and Diamond Rugs' John McCauley made Nashville their home.
While longtime local punk hot spots like The Muse and Little Hamilton shuttered, new venues including The Stone Fox, The Owl Farm, The High Watt and The Lawn at Riverfront Park were unveiled. The Lawn played host not only to Zac Brown Band's Southern Ground Music and Food Festival, but also Skrillex and Pretty Lights' With Your Friends Fest — an event that further bolstered the electronic dance music scene made locally popular by folks like Cherub, DJ Wick-It the Instigator and Jeremy "Coach" Todd. Local hip-hop continued to thrive thanks to releases from folks like Starlito, Ducko McFli, Jota Ese, Gummy Soul and Rio, and jazz and blues flourished under the leadership of performers including Rahsaan Barber and husband-and-wife duo Roger Spencer and Lori Mechem. The seventh installment of local festival SoundLand experienced a disheartening 11th-hour cancellation, but classical performances lit up Ingram Hall and the Schermerhorn. We bid farewell to local acts like The Legendary Shack Shakers, Umbrella Tree and, it would seem, The Civil Wars, but welcomed the return of Old Crow Medicine Show, The Mavericks and BR549's original lineup.
In our annual Year in Music issue, we delve into the year's most interesting stories, talk about the blues and jazz, classical and hip-hop haps, rank our favorite albums of the year and revisit some of the best live performances. In our annual Rock 'n' Roll Poll, we ask some of Nashville's rockers, rollers, hippers, hoppers, movers and shakers to weigh in on yet another landmark year in Music City.
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I was at Cleopatra it was awsoooooooooome
@Senor Sardonicus: So, Zombie, you finally discovered peyote. Mmm, mmm, mmm.
I agree that The Tennessean should have broader coverage; ie> coverage of other religions and…
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