Next Big Nashville 2009: The Lineup for Thursday, October 8th 

CANNERY ROW
It's Next Big Nashville, but Thursday's Mercy Lounge show is busting at the seams with bands deserving of wider recognition. Fuzzy garage rockers Bad Cop and Butterfly Boucher-fronted Elle Macho balance one another in a mixtape sort of way—think loud, guitar-oriented road trip rock. The sly grace of neotraditionalist Tristen has earned much acclaim, and for good reason. Her sweet melodies belie incredibly witty wordplay—pay close attention to the lyrics, delivered in vocals delicate by way of dirty. The Non-Commissioned Officers earn their stripes with New Wave rock equal parts exuberant and dark. Highlighting the evening will be How I Became the Bomb, easily one of Nashville's most endearing bands. Frontman and Scene coverboy Jon Burr's slinky, mewling stage presence perfectly complements the band's broody bombast, and will likely end the night on a raucous high note. Go ahead and take Friday off. You'll have earned it.

Downstairs at The Cannery, things kick off in high gear with two of the hottest hip-hop acts going. The Billy Goats open the night with their irreverent party-rap. Armed only with cunning wit and crates of records straight form from the dollar bin, the Goats squeeze more bounce per ounce out of their sound than almost any act in the city—a must for fans of old-school boom bap and new-school snark. The Lovenoise Allstars, on the other hand, are more like Nashville's Voltron—a congress of the city's best musicians convened by Lovenoise, the city's long-running progressive urban music club night, to fight the forces of evil. Built around the seriously boss Biscuits N' Gravy Band, LNA also features cyber-rap duo N.O.B.O.T.S., the acoustic soul of William Davenport and the abstract poetics of Gravaty—basically it's tonight's must see set. Space Capone and Lord T & Eloise also appear. ASHLEY SPURGEON & SEAN L. MALONEY

Exit/In
If "aristocrunk" and '80s-inspired dance-pop just ain't your bag, then hightail it over to Elliston Place for something a little more earnest. Exit/In's Thursday lineup is a diverse hodge-podge of pysche-pop, folk, Americana and punchy indie rock. It's pretty cool when 20-year-old girls get really into Neil Young, write good songs and include a local luminary (Ghostfinger's Ritchie Kirkpatrick) in their band. Such is the case with Jessica Lea Mayfield, who has a knack for haunting heartfelt folk ballads beyond her years. Joining her are the band that, last year, graced the cover of the Scene's NBN issue: frenetic hook-bombers Shoot the Mountain. Alabama Americana aces The Dexateens will pump up the volume and deliver a set of comforting meat-and-potatoes rock, while Chapel Hill's baroque-pop take on Superchunk, The Old Ceremony, make their return to Music City. Nashville transplant David Vandervelde rounds out the bill with some cockles-warming, '60s-tinged summery psych-pop. ADAM GOLD

The Basement
Thursday night's lineup covers several decades—not that any of the bands have been playing that long. But they've each got a sound inspired by a different post-Elvis era. Of course, things are a little out of whack chronologically, since The Carter Administration—enjoyably skewed torch-bearers for '90s alt-rock and power-pop (and with the recent addition of Sam Powers, a trio no more)—kick things off. From there, Ohio-based Fat Possum outfit Wheels on Fire—one of the out-of-state imports this year—conjure a jangly '60s garage ethos without a lick of bass guitar. The Deep Vibration then shift things decisively—and Neil Young-ishly—into the '70s, with ragged, expansive country-rock. The Kopecky Family Band is last. They're not relatives at all, but seven friends who take their name from the group's sole female member. And the way they merge orchestral elements and indie rock plants them pretty squarely in the '00s. JEWLY HIGHT

BEST OF THE REST

Oblio
This local trio Americanize anthem rock— à la U2 or The Arcade Fire—but without all that pesky megalomaniacal pastiche. 10:30 p.m. at The Rutledge ADAM GOLD

Cheer Up Charlie Daniels, James Wallace and the Naked Light & Happy Birthday Amy
This diverse lineup of hyper-musical long-named local gems—from the upbeat genre-bending of Cheer Up Charlie Daniels to the cabaret-pop of Happy Birthday, to the quirky exuberance of James Wallace and the Naked Light—is a fine incentive to add Gallatin Pike to your list of Thursday night destinations. 8 p.m. at FooBar. ADAM GOLD

Party Time
Gibson VIP Reception The best thing about getting all showcase-core is the free food. Yes, seeing tons of bands and listening to tons of music is great, but the pulled pork from Jimmie Carl's Lunchbox is worth whatever shameful thing you did to get that VIP pass. Throw in showcases by up-and-coming folk chanteuse Sara Jean Kelly and the Prince-remixes-Bill Withers sound of soul singer William Davenport, and you've got a great reason to wake up before the sun goes down and your hangover wears off. 6-8 p.m. at Gibson Showroom. SEAN L. MALONEY


Big Nashville panels tackle the business of the hustle
For a city so steeped in industry, it's always been a drag to acknowledge that industry rarely caters to the rock scene. Next Big Nashville's addition of a conference dimension to three days of booze, bands and barhopping finally gives musicians and music junkies their own chance to indulge in something less likely to wreck the next week. This year, get in on the biz talk with two more days of panels that prove the industry is still sorting out the conundrums of the digital age, whether it's copyright issues or how to light up your fanbase, with a few not to be missed.

On Thursday, drop in on “I Have the Power” (11:15 a.m.), a panel hosted by a glut of big-shot booking agents who’ll discuss the industry shift to the live show over the CD—bound to be an eye-opener for any local bands hustling on the tour circuit. For anyone who's ever crossed their arms, scratched their chin and assessed a band's talent within the first 10 seconds of the first song, try the panel "Everyone's an A&R Person" (12:30 p.m.) led by Kent Marcus, the local go-to rock lawyer to seek out when you're ready to get serious about playing some label ball. Compare your opinions to those of bigshot labels Capitol, Warner Bros. and Atlantic, who are on hand to suss out the super-saturation of opinions clamoring for attention online. A peek inside the new terrain of the indie label could yield some valuable strategies for do-it-yourselfers who've ditched the CD at the panel "Indie Evolution" (1:45 p.m.)—not to mention an inside peek at anyone who's part of Jack White's Third Man Records (representative Ben Swank is on the panel.) And finally, for more naked-careerist types looking for cha-ching on celluloid, don't miss "Music in Reel Time" (3 p.m.) for a backstage pass to how music selection works on the silver screen, presented by the Nashville Film Festival. TRACY MOORE

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