The Erykah Badu song "Amerykahn Promise" opens with a sample straight from some long-lost grindhouse movie trailer—a voice-over hype man promising "More action! More excitement! More everything!" It's easy to imagine that the organizers of Next Big Nashville, now in its third year, had this motto in mind when putting together the 2008 incarnation of the festival.
More bands! Over 200 this year. More venues! Seventeen of 'em, just counting concert locations. More everything! Panel discussions, a film screening, an outdoor barbecue, a block party. Plus more genres—from noise to R&B, electro to neo-alt-country.
Make no mistake: This year's NBN has climbed ever closer to its goal of SXSW-like enormity. As a result, it's developing some of the same side effects—namely, there's just too much to do. That's a good problem to have, but where last year we had some tough choices to make about which shows to see, this year some of those choices feel downright impossible.
You can't split yourself into three people. But with a new online scheduling system—downloadable to a mobile device and viewable online by other NBN showgoers—this year's impossible choices will be easier to track. (We've also provided a complete printed schedule in our Music Manual, in this issue.) Shuttles, underutilized last year, can whisk you between the festival's many venues with no worries about parking or blue lights in your rearview.
As for the performers, while there's something to be said for fashionable lateness, there is also such a thing as peaking at the right time. This year it's Shoot the Mountain, a band that changed its name, reinvented its sound and now suddenly has the town talking—but there's plenty of talk to go around. Power-pop stalwarts Superdrag anchor what is arguably the fest's biggest night; the Ten out of Tenn cadre of songwriters has been gathering some steam (and TV time) in recent months; Paper Route scored a touring slot with MTV Awards-bound Paramore. In other words, there's way too much to mention here.
Since there's just no way you'll see everything, we've broken down each night and given you our top choices: Fuck Yeah! (self-explanatory); One-off (highlighting a single act that stands out from the rest like a geyser of lava); Top-to-Bottom (featuring that night's mightiest overall lineup); Wild Card (could go either way); and finally, The Main Event, in which we get all Alien vs. Predator with the two heaviest-hitting shows of the night, head-to-head.
For coverage of Next Big Nashville's less-amplified moments, see our Critics' Picks on p. 41. In the meantime, strap it down and get ready to rumble.
Perhaps you should consider that soy based products are binders! Meaning if you have any…
Drink Black Coffee, problem solved.
Only landowners should vote.
It's certainly a step in the right direction. I'd love the chance to marry my…