How I Became the Bomb, Dr. Dog, Paper Route, flood benefit and more 

Knee-deep in the hoopla

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The Spin would never, ever voluntarily go out to a bar on Cinco de Mayo, but our secret fortress on top of Puppy Blood Mountain was relatively unscathed by this weekend's flooding, so we felt obligated to show up at Mercy Lounge for Re-Build This City on Rock 'n' Roll, what will surely be the first of many flood relief benefits. We arrived just in time to catch How I Became the Bomb taking their equipment offstage, but we were pleasantly surprised to find the club packed, and the cash drawer and buckets being passed around the room were chock full of loot for Hands on Nashville and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Good work, scenesters — word out of Mercy is that they raised over $11,000.

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And speaking of scenesters, it was nice to see that our city's unwashed masses had, well, remained unwashed. Like, damn, y'all fucking stank, and we mean that in the best possible way. One thing that didn't stink, though, was the set turned in by The Dozen Dimes, whose doo-woppy garage rock was a welcome respite from the epic bummer of the last few days. Electro-poppers Paper Route were followed by psychobilly stalwarts Hillbilly Casino, who were a friendly reminder that for all of our electro-indie ambitions we are, as the hockey kids say, Nashville — double bass and pomade are what made this town great the first time around.

After the Casino ripped the crowd a new one, a motley cast of local luminaries assembled onstage for a rousing, if ramshackle, rendition of the evening's theme song, "We Built This City." (As late as soundcheck, Ke$ha was slated to give a surprise performance, but that never materialized.) Maybe it was the sight of so many professional musicians being so amateurish, or maybe it was just the sight of a bare-chested Brandon Jazz wearing that leopard-print faux-fur half-vest, but this is the one and only time that The Spin will ever, ever endorse a post-Sunfighter Grace Slick song. Sure, the performance was a mess, but it was a heartfelt mess, and a great reminder that when times are tough this city will come together. It might not come together on the same chord, or even the same verse, but it will come together, and it's a beautiful thing when it does.

They're the Dog now, man

We rolled up to The Cannery Ballroom Thursday night with the spirit of solidarity coursing through our veins. We had all survived the flood, and it was time to celebrate our unity with a little Dr. Dog and a lot of fermented beverages. Given the water shortage and the fact that we've all been skipping showers lately, we anticipated something of an overwhelming stink. (Who needs showers? We just use a little "Talcum in the Middle," if you know what we mean.) There was no significant stench, but we did find some greasy-lookin' hairdos and the strained, wistful crooning of one Mr. John McCauley and his Deer Tick. We only caught two or three songs from the Tick, but we determined pretty swiftly that they're genuine candidates for the classification "Countrytallica."

It's funny to think that just last year — Valentine's Day 2009, to be precise — Dr. Dog were playing upstairs at Mercy Lounge. Thursday night's show was sold out by the time they went onstage. And according to a Lightning 100 representative we spoke with, they and Deer Tick donated a "large portion" of their ticket sales to flood relief.

Dr. Dog's set was relatively Fate-heavy and punctuated by seriously impressive bursts of pulsing, green, blue and red lights that cast the band's silhouettes against a thick screen of fog. What's more, Dr. Dog's bobbing, energetic antics and pristine vocal harmonies seem to have only improved since we caught them last. Oh, and brand-new drummer Eric Slick is absolutely fluid, by the way. Their set, of course, featured plenty of Shame, Shame and a little bit of We All Belong, and we didn't even mind too much that we didn't hear much Easy Beat and couldn't navigate the overwhelmingly packed crowd to make it to the front of the stage. Why? Well, mostly because it was our eighth time seeing the Dog, but also because we happened to catch a couple of good stories from friends — stories about flood recovery and about people allegedly pissing on John Rich's car. Seriously.

Dr. Dog's encore featured some of our favorite jams, including Easy Beat's "Oh No" and the Architecture in Helsinki cover "Heart It Races." As an associate put it, "It gives [us] hope that this many people came out for a band this good." And considering the week we've all had? Yeah, we'd have to agree.

Is Nashville Rising or are you just happy to see us? Email thespin@nashvillescene.com.

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