Nashville Cream turns 3 with help from The Features, Kindercastle and The Billy Goats 

I suppose it's a bit tacky to throw your own birthday party, but if last year's packed house and boisterous celebration are any indication, people don't seem to mind. And after last month's successful run of 8 off 8th cover nights, it seems we're starting to make a habit of such things. Lucky for us, these shows have been as much fun to think up as they've been to attend, and our third anniversary is going to be a fun farewell to our terrible twos.

It goes without saying at this point that The Features are one of Nashville's true rock treasures. So it's no surprise that fans came out of the digital woodwork to say as much on a recent Nashville Cream thread concerning "the most mythical of all Tennessee bands," alongside names such as Big Star, Jason and the Scorchers and Area Code 615. Keeping famous company (in the "real world," as opposed to blog comments) has also garnered attention recently for The Features' most recent album, the excellent Some Kind of Salvation. Bug Music, the record label imprint run by Kings of Leon, announced they would be re-releasing the album this year.

Whether or not their new label association will lift The Features to KOL-like heights is yet to be seen, but either way we're lucky to have them playing the birthday party we're throwing ourselves for the third time this Saturday. They'll be playing a short set, we're told, but more importantly it will be a set of brand new material, never heard before by an audience in Nashville or anywhere else. That in itself should be enough to get you out of the house and into Mercy Lounge, but maybe free food will help sway you. Or the chance to win an electric guitar. Or gift certificates. Did we mention food?

But there's also more music to be had, too. Kindercastle might be freshest in everyone's minds for their brilliant staging (with How I Became the Bomb) of the classic ELO album Out of the Blue. But their own music, replete with sweeping strings and tinges of disco and '70s pop, has attracted its own following, and deservedly so. They'll be joined by local hip-hop crew The Billy Goats. For those of you wondering just who contemporary rap music is supposed to appeal to, you might want to spend some time with the Goats, whose boom-bap, old-school approach has enough funk to get you moving, and they never resort to lowest-common-denominator idiocy. (Neither MC Iller nor MC 24/7 is in love with a stripper, as it were—though they're certainly not afraid of ribaldry.)

So, as we say farewell to another summer and hello to another year of music bloggin' (29,000 comments and counting), let's blow it out one more time, Nashville.

Email sharuch@nashvillescene.com or call 615-244-7989, ext. 271.

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