Oct. 26 at Angle of View
417 Gallatin Rd. 262-7300
The strange parallel universe inhabited by Argentinean experimental/ improvisational combo Reynols allows that “Reynols is not a music band only because Reynols is a music band.” It’s a cryptic, if fitting, declaration from a group whose interests are as much playfully philosophical as they are musical. With a discography surpassing 50 releases, Reynols have acquired international renown, due in part to the fact that drummer/vocalist Miguel Tomasin has Down’s syndrome. But they are by no means a novelty act, nor can they be considered exploitative in the slightest. Their fusion of damaged garage punk, menacing electronics, wide-ranging sonic experimentation and Tomasin’s wailing incantations is so impossible to pigeonhole that it can only be described as “free music.”
If the group’s visit to Springwater last fall was any indication, their upcoming show at Angle of View on Oct. 26 will prove to be one of those rare events where music fans get to witness something truly, utterly unique. The Friday-night bill will also be a notable gig for Nashville trio the New Faggot Cunts, who, along with groups such as Banjoland and Bbbraanf, are proving that our city is becoming fertile ground for mind-expanding noise music. NFC members Derek Schartung, Halcyon Books owner/Scene contributor Angela Messina, and Scene contributor/ copy editor Chris Davis were instrumental in bringing Reynols to Nashville for this week’s performance, and they’ve been hosting a number of notable shows in recent months as well, including visits from Reynols labelmates No Doctors, Brooklyn duo The Double, and Polish ethno-rock ensemble The Magic Carpathians.
Reynols are currently on an extensive tour of the States. They’re partaking in a weeklong residency at Oberlin University, where they will guest-lecture, perform and host workshops as part of a Henry Luce Foundation-funded program to support the work of emerging and maverick artists. They’ll also be featured at the No Music Festival in New York, performing alongside such artists as legendary Canadian Dadaists the Nihilist Spasm Band, respected skronk ensemble Borbetomagus and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. As was the case last year, Tomasin will not take part in the U.S. tour, but as Reynols themselves note in their hilariously obtuse press release: “There is no way not to see Miguel onstage because the two other members [Anla Courtis and Robeto Conlazo] hereby declare that in fact they are both Miguel Tomasin.” It’s a statement very much in keeping with a group who have performed concerts for audiences of plants and dry ice.
Much like Reynols, the New Faggot Cunts create a tribal, atonal din without evoking too many past reference points. Their most recent show offered elements of free jazz, psychedelia, minimal punk, and synthesizer doodling, all held together by Davis’ pounding toms. The group will not only be hosting and performing at the Nashville show, but will also be opening for Reynols on several tour stops throughout the Southeast.
Angle of View, the East Nashville performance space where the gig is scheduled, has hosted a number of hardcore punk shows recently, and is perhaps a more fitting setting for Reynols and company than either a stodgy art gallery or a grungy dive bar. The night will also feature local acts The Neighborhood, Bluff and Under Vee, along with Lexington’s Hair Police (who’ve been dubbed practitioners of “seizure-core”) and American John(s). It’s shows like this that prove the local underground is anything but ho-hum, and that there’s still vital work being created below the radar in Nashville.
A pumpkin carriage?
Lead guitarist Brian Hofeldt of The Derailers doesn’t want to promise that his band will do something special during their Halloween show at 12th & Porter. “I better not say, just in case we don’t do anything,” he hedges. “It’ll be pretty much a straight-up honky-tonk show. But it’s possible you may see the Sherailers show up.”
Hofeldt’s holding his cards close to the vest because The Derailers play nearly 300 shows a year, which means they’re almost always on the road, away from their Austin, Texas, home, and they often don’t have time to plan what they’re going to have for dinner, let alone what they’re going to wear at a show a week from now. “Until we break on radio, we’ve got to get out there and get to the folks,” Hofeldt sighs. “We’re servants for our fans.” And if they do break on radio, which format would the rockabilly-influenced Derailers like to tackle first? “We consider ourselves a country band,” he says. “That’s what we’d like to be a part of. We haven’t seen things turn around yet, but we feel that they will. We hear all the time from fans of country music.”
It’s not that The Derailers haven’t had success in country formats. Their video for “The Right Place” (shot in Shelbyville, Tenn., and a hit at the 2000 Nashville Independent Film Festival) was No. 1 on CMT for seven weeks, and the band are a stated favorite of country aficionados and radio programmers around the country. Their latest album, Here Come The Derailers, was recorded in Nashville’s Masterlink Studio“That used to be Monument, where Roy Orbison recorded,” Hofeldt notes, adding, “That felt like a good connection”and its chipper set of upbeat rockin’ country has garnered good notices across the board.
“Country was always a part of what some of us listened to,” the guitarist says. “We all love rockabilly and roots music and R&B and country-soul. We’re very strongly Bakersfield-inclined. There’s this period in the ’60s that to us is kind of magical. You’ve got Buck [Owens] doing what he’s doing, The Beatles, Stax Records, Ray Charles doing country songs. Real interesting things being shared. It’s a real focal point for us. There was just so much pure joy, and we try to hearken back to that. We don’t know what the songs are going to be before they arrive, but they’re influenced by all that stuff that’s in our heads.”
Hofeldt considers himself lucky that he found a co-writer in Derailers lead singer Tony Villanueva who matches his enthusiasm for an era that both of them actually missed. “We were born in the late ’60s, and grew up more in the ’70s and ’80s,” Hofeldt says. “But when I met Tony in 1993, it was like we shared a singular vision, of something between black-and-white and color, and we wanted to expand on that. And the more we’ve kept at it, the more we’ve found that there’s more of us out there than people would believe. It’s fortunate that we both found a Cinderella to fit the slipper.”
The Derailers’ sort of people will be out in droves on Halloween night, and if time and preparation permits, a few of them might even be dressed like Cinderella.
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